Americans think in four-year election cycles. Chinese leaders think in terms of centuries. Just leaf through the glossy, cream-colored, gold-flecked pages of The Governance of China. This anthology of political theories by Chinese President Xi Jinping is considered almost sacred scripture in Beijing.
Across 18 chapters about leading the most populous nation on the planet, Xi outlines his utopian vision for the Chinese people. In the world he describes, the Chinese are heirs to an ancient and unique civilization entitled to a privileged position among nations. In this world, China is an economic, cultural and military superpower, while the United States is no longer a major geopolitical power.
If the Chinese people dutifully follow the program their paramount leader has laid out in The Governance of China, Xi promises they can achieve what he terms the China Dream by the year 2049—exactly one century after the founding of the People’s Republic of China during the Chinese Communist Revolution.
Achieving the China Dream has become a trademark slogan of Xi’s administration since he first publicly uttered the phrase in a November 2012 speech. When Xi refers to the China Dream, however, he isn’t making empty political promises like so many Westerners assume. He is actually making a subtle reference to a geopolitical strategy. Nationalist hawks in the Chinese military have been pushing this strategy since the days of Chairman Mao Zedong.
In a book actually titled The China Dream, People’s Liberation Army (pla) Col. Liu Mingfu outlines a strategy for China to surpass and replace the United States as the world’s premier superpower. This book is a bestseller in China. Only parts of it have been translated into English.
This book is where American defense policy adviser Michael Pillsbury first came across a specific written reference to the “Hundred-Year Marathon.”
Strategic Lessons From History
Colonel Liu is now a scholar at China’s National Defense University, an institution that trains future generals for the People’s Liberation Army. His strategy for supplanting the United States as the global superpower calls on Chinese leaders to learn from history—particularly from the history of America’s rise to superpower status in the 19th century, and from the Soviet Union’s failure to replace America in the 20th century.
Liu writes that China should strive to avoid directly antagonizing the United States too soon as the Soviet Union did in the Cold War. Rather, he advises that China influence U.S. foreign policy in such a way as to ensure that Washington behaves like Great Britain in the early 20th century. What happened to Britain in the 20th century? It declined and gave way to the U.S.
“The competition between China and the United States will not take the form of a world war or a cold war,” Liu writes in his book. “It will not be like a ‘shooting duel’ or a ‘boxing match’ but more like a ‘track and field’ competition. It will be like a protracted ‘marathon.’” Like many other Chinese nationalists, Liu foretells that China’s Hundred-Year Marathon will be a struggle for supremacy over economics, trade, currency, resources and geopolitical alignments.
Like President Xi, Colonel Liu estimates that it will take about a century for China to surpass America as the global superpower. He allots 30 years for China to match the U.S.’s gross domestic product, 30 years to match its military strength, and 30 years to equal its per capita gdp. Unlike Xi, Liu obviously considers this 100-year plan to have begun at some point after the 1949 Communist Revolution.
In fact, Colonel Liu is something of a latecomer to the idea of the Hundred-Year Marathon. Chinese author Zhao Tingyang published an essay in 2005 that is swiftly gaining mainstream acceptance in China. This essay, “The All-Under-Heaven System,” calls for the establishment of Tianxia—a Chinese-led empire that “values order over freedom, ethics over law, and elite governance over democracy and human rights.”
In a July 2012 interview with Michael Pillsbury, Zhao explained that the ancient Rites of Zhou mandated that a Chinese emperor have a 4-to-1 military superiority over his rivals to ensure his ability to enforce the All-Under-Heaven System.
Therefore, Chinese nationalists like Xi, Liu and Zhao admit that, in order to protect its growing economic empire, Beijing will eventually need a military force more powerful than any other!
Weighing the Emperor’s Cauldrons
A committee of 21 Chinese generals has sponsored the publication of a nine-book series titled Strategic Lessons From China’s Ancient Past. This series draws strategic lessons from China’s Warring States Period—an era between 475 and 221 b.c. when eight states warred against each other until they were conquered by the Qin dynasty. Many of the proverbs used in modern-day Chinese foreign policy originated during these struggles between states.
Perhaps the most famous proverb from this period is: Never ask the weight of the emperor’s cauldrons.
Ancient Chinese legend says the Kingdom of Chu was rising while the Kingdom of Zhou was declining. The leader of Chu knew that the Zhou dynasty had nine cauldrons symbolizing its authority. These cauldrons would be removed when the emperor of Zhou lost the “Mandate of Heaven.” So, while the leader of Chu was reviewing his troops along with an ambassador from the declining Zhou dynasty, he couldn’t help but ask about the size of the Zhou emperor’s cauldrons. The ambassador from Zhou then scolded the leader of Chu for his impertinence. By asking the weight of the Zhou emperor’s cauldrons, he inadvertently revealed his true intention to challenge him—before the time was right for the “Mandate of Heaven” to be moved.
The lesson, in short: Don’t let your enemy know you’re his enemy until it’s too late for him to stop you.
During the Warring States Period, successful Chinese kingdoms often conquered rivals by inducing them into complacency. In some cases, rising challengers even duped the old emperor into unwittingly assisting their rise.
Based on this wisdom, the committee of generals has advised that the Chinese government should not challenge the U.S. by matching its military strength plane for plane, ship for ship. They advise China to hide its full strength until the “Mandate of Heaven” is officially moved.
By 2049, the Chinese economy is projected to be much larger than the U.S. economy—perhaps double or triple the size, according to some estimates. At that point, it will be easy to bring the Chinese military into compliance with the ancient Rites of Zhou by making it four times larger than America’s armed forces. Until then, China’s policy is to induce the old American emperor to sit back and enjoy the delicacies provided to him by his “loyal” Chinese allies!
Wielding the Assassin’s Mace
One ancient Chinese legend describes a warrior who confronts a powerful enemy who is said to be stronger than the strongest giant. Yet the warrior prevailed using a secret weapon: a shashoujian. This term combines three Chinese words meaning hand, mace and kill.
The assassin’s mace that this warrior used looked like any other mace, but it had the power to knock out any enemy with a single blow. In military histories, the term shashoujian has been referenced in Chinese texts since the Warring States Period. An “assassin’s mace” is any military strategy that allows a warrior to defeat a powerful foe using unconventional means.
In his book The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, Pillsbury recounts how he first came across the term “assassin’s mace.” He read an article by three of China’s preeminent military strategists that discussed new technologies that might contribute to defeating America without arousing the same level of suspicion that a Soviet-style arms race would.
The article called for the development of tactical laser weapons to be used in antiship missile defense systems, electromagnetic pulse weapons, radar-jamming technology and cyber weapons.
Maj. Gen. Li Zhiyun, the director of foreign military studies at China’s National Defense University, published an anthology of the works of 64 Chinese military authors. The anthology details a long list of U.S. military weaknesses vulnerable to exploitation by “assassin’s mace” technologies. The most prominent weaknesses listed are America’s overreliance on high-tech computer systems, satellite technology and long maritime supply lines for ammunition, fuel and other resources for waging war.
The pla is currently developing high-tech computer viruses, building antisatellite missiles, and militarizing the world’s most important maritime choke points. China’s generals are preparing to use the assassin’s mace to strike America in its Achilles’ heel should Washington ever wake up to China’s true intentions.
Anticipating Europe’s Response
Most American foreign-policy experts seem to think that nationalist generals are a fringe element in Chinese politics that should not be taken too seriously. Even if this had been true under the leadership of Hu Jintao, it certainly is no longer. President Xi is closely connected to the hawks in the pla and has even borrowed their slogan, fuxing zhi lu—meaning “road to renewal.”
For eight years, the United States has been governed by a president who considers Anglo-American imperialism the world’s greatest evil. While President Barack Obama may like to see China assume a seat at the table in a multipolar world, the leaders of China have no interest in sharing superpower status with America.
Xi Jinping and the nationalist generals of China well remember the admonition of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius: “There cannot be two suns in the sky, nor two emperors on the Earth.”
The clock ticks toward Chinese global domination in 2049. While U.S. leaders seem willingly blind to this fact, there is a cabal of technocrats in Europe that is aware that time is running out. Since Adolf Hitler’s defeat at the end of the Second World War, this cabal has worked to unify the European continent into a corporatist superstate capable of rivaling the U.S. and China on the world scene.
The geopolitical architects behind the European Union are waking up to the fact that even a pan-European superstate won’t have enough economic power to thwart China’s Hundred-Year Plan. A Citigroup report forecast that Western Europe will only account for 7 percent of the global economy by 2050, while “developing Asia” will account for 49 percent.
To reverse this trend toward European decline, corporatist technocrats are pushing for the merger of U.S. and EU economies. A Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (ttip), currently being negotiated in secret by American bureaucrats and European technocrats, would create an “economic nato” with a combined economy valued at around $35 trillion. Such a transatlantic economic alliance would have the economic and geopolitical might to rival the Chinese empire.
Yet this path to geopolitical power comes at a dear price. In addition to establishing a free-trade area, the ttip would harmonize U.S. and EU regulations governing industrial standards, labor laws and intellectual property rights. To enforce these regulations, the European Commission is insisting on an Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Such a mechanism would bypass domestic courts and override the will of national legislatures. It would subject the U.S. to the same type of authoritarian, technocratic regulations that member states of the European Union endure!
The Real ‘Mandate of Heaven’
Most politicians would scoff at the idea that there is a God in heaven who gives power unto kings. Yet it is true. “[T]he most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. … Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing” (Daniel 4:17; Isaiah 40:15).
The fact that Britain has fallen from greatness and that China is eclipsing America does not escape God. We must see such seismic global power shifts with His perspective. In the end, the problems afflicting America and Britain are actually correction from God to help the Anglo-American people see their sins and repent. Because a spirit of lawlessness and rebellion has taken hold in Anglo-America, God will send foreign enemies to punish America and Britain!
The Bible describes a time of “great tribulation” for the Anglo-American people in astonishing detail. Neither America nor Britain will willingly surrender sovereignty to the cabal of technocratic corporatists who run the EU. Instead, as the Prophet Isaiah forecast over 2,700 years ago, a German-led European superstate will betray America and Britain by forming a short-lived economic alliance with the nations of Asia, including China, Russia and Japan. This anti-American alliance will literally besiege the United States and Britain—economically freezing them out of world trade.
The Prophet Daniel foretells that when this siege has weakened America and Britain to the point of complete societal breakdown, the king of the German-led superstate will break his alliance with the kings of Asia and unilaterally invade North America. With the economies of America and Britain forcibly integrated into Europe’s technocratic dictatorship, this German-led empire will have power to rival China and its Asian allies. The Chinese generals can talk about not asking the weight of the emperor’s cauldrons, but the German General Staff uses a different military strategy: blitzkrieg!
With the Anglo-American people enslaved and the vast economic resources of North America at its disposal, the German empire will still only have a short window of time to stop Asia’s rise. The Apostle John prophesies in the book of Revelation that this German-led, Catholic empire will launch a preemptive military strike against the kings of Asia. Just like Kaiser Wilhelm ii launched a preemptive strike designed to halt Russia’s ascension to superpower status during World War i, this German empire will strike out in a desperate attempt to thwart China’s Hundred-Year Plan.
To counter this attack, the Bible foretells that Russia and China will amass an army of 200 million men!
Every human being would actually face extinction in a devastating nuclear war between Europe and Asia, unless Jesus Christ Himself intervenes in world affairs (Matthew 24:22). Fortunately, the Bible records a definitive promise from God that Jesus Christ will intervene to end this madness. After accumulating 6,000 years of evil and suffering, the human race will finally be ready to listen to God and be taught His way of life!