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1 The now classic study of China’s deterrence strategy for Beijing’s intervention in the Korean War is Allen S. Whiting, China Crosses the Yalu: The Decision to Enter the Korean War (RAND Corporation, 1960). Whiting’s assessment has been updated through newly released documents by Thomas J. Christensen, Worse Than a Monolith: Alliance Politics and Problems of Coercive Diplomacy in Asia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), chapter 2. Whiting’s study of China’s deterrence strategy for the 1962 border conflict with India and involvement in the Indochina war was originally published in 1975 and has been reprinted with a new foreword. In his foreword, Whiting reflects upon the implications for his earlier assessments of China’s deterrence strategy by later publications exploiting sources not available to him. His reflections include the Korean War case and Beijing’s 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait military exercises. See Allen S. Whiting, The Chinese Calculus of Deterrence: India and Indochina (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 2001).


2 See Andrew Scobell, China’s Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), chapter 6, for a very interesting assessment of China’s motivation for attacking Vietnam.

3 For details, see Thomas Robinson, “The Sino-Soviet Border Conflicts of 1969: New Evidence Three Decades Later,” in Chinese Warfighting: The PLA Experience Since 1949, ed. Mark A. Ryan, David M. Finkelstein, and Michael McDevitts, 198–216 (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2003).

4 Barbara Barnouin and Yu Changgen, Chinese Foreign Policy during the Cultural Revolution (London: Keegan Paul International, 1998), 88.

5 For details, see David G. Muller, Jr., China As a Maritime Power (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1983), 152–154.

6 For a useful view of China’s civilian maritime enforcement agencies, see Lyle Goldstein, Five Dragons Stirring Up the Sea: Challenge and Opportunity in China’s Improving Maritime Enforcement Capabilities (Newport, RI: China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College, April 2010).

7 For a recent look at these issues, see Mark E. Redden and Phillip C. Saunders, Managing Sino-U.S. Air and Naval Interactions: Cold War Lessons and New Avenues of Approach, China Strategic Perspectives, no. 5 (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, September 2012).

8 For a detailed and insightful assessment of Sino-American relations and the Taiwan dilemma, see Alan D. Romberg, Rein In at the Brink of the Precipice: American Policy Toward Taiwan and U.S.- PRC Relations (Washington, DC: The Henry L. Stimson Center, 2003).

9 For details of these operations see Xiaobing Li, “PLA Attacks and Amphibious Operations During the Taiwan Strait Crises of 1954-55 and 1958,” in Chinese Warfighting, 143–172.

10 See Chalmers M. Roberts, “Dulles Sees General Use of A-Arms,” The Washington Post, March 16, 1955, 1; and the discussion in Thomas E. Stolper, China, Taiwan, and the Offshore Islands (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1985), 89–90.

11 For a useful assessment of China’s deterrence strategy and the PLA’s military exercises, see Scobell, chapter 8. For a detailed assessment of the exercises and the U.S. responses, see Robert L. Suettinger, Beyond Tiananmen: The Politics of US-China Relations 1989‒2000 (Washington, DC: Brookings
Institution Press, 2003), chapter 6. 106 China Strategic Perspectives, No. 6

12 Roberts, 1; and Stolper, 89–90.

13 See Taylor Fravel, Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008).

14 We are grateful to Professor Bernard Cole of the National War College for bringing this reality to our attention.

15 For a detailed assessment of this arrangement and its applicability to potential U.S.-China incidents, see Redden and Saunders.

16 Adapted from Robert L. Suettinger, “U.S. ‘Management’ of Three Taiwan Strait ‘Crises,’” in Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis, ed. Michael D. Swaine and Zhang Tuosheng, 251 (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006).

17 Adapted from Michael D. Swaine, “Understanding the Historical Record,” in Managing Sino-American Crises, 37–64.

18 Draws from the discussion in Wang Jisi and Xu Hui, “Pattern of Sino-American Crises: A Chinese Perspective,” in Managing Sino-American Crises, 137–146.

19 See, for example, Allen S. Whiting, “U.S. Crisis Management Vis-à-vis China: Korea and Vietnam,” in Managing Sino-American Crises, 215–249; and Niu Jun, “Chinese Decision Making in Three Military Actions Across the Taiwan Strait,” in Managing Sino-American Crises, 293–326.

20 It must be noted here that a primary driver for China’s military modernization programs is in fact preparation for a military confrontation with the United States over Taiwan. Some Chinese undoubtedly do hold the views expressed by these authors, but caution leads Beijing and China’s armed
forces to prepare for the worst plausible case scenario.

21 The following discussion is taken from Wang and Xu, 140–141.

22 Ibid., 145–146.

23 To cite but two sources among many, see David M. Lampton, “Testimony before the U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission,” Hearing on China’s Narratives Regarding National Security Policy, March 10, 2011; and Linda Jacobson and Dean Knox, New Foreign Policy Actors in China, SIPRI Policy Paper No. 26 (Stockholm: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, September 2010). Much of this discussion is drawn from these sources.

24 Lampton, 5.

25 Jiefangjun Bao, April 15, 2008.

26 Hu Yinan, “Military Hot Line Smooths Rocky Relationship,” China Daily Online, November 12, 2011.

27 The following case study analyses of the 1978–1979 Sino-Vietnamese war, the 1960–1961 Sino-Indian border war, and Taiwan Strait confrontations from 1991 through 2004, as well as the appended chronologies, derive from relevant Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports and from the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper People’s Daily.

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