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Global Times Chief Editor Explains How China Must Fight ‘Just Wars’ It Can Win MilitarilY

Sept. 14, 2020 (EIRNS)—A Global Times Observer op-ed by Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin on Sept. 11 set out detailed conditions under which China could fight a war—combining the requirement of a “just war” with the extent of military preparedness that would allow China to win the victory. It was entitled, “China Must Be Militarily and Morally Ready for a Potential War.”

Though the Chinese people do not want war, Hu wrote, he warned that China faces “territorial disputes with several neighboring countries instigated by the U.S.... Oftentimes, the less we want war, the more ... Chinese society must therefore have real courage to engage calmly in a war that aims to protect core interests.” China’s strength can be transformed into a “strategic deterrence against all kinds of provocateurs.” If the outside world sees this, it could help China avoid a war, Hu says. “This is particularly true for China, because China is not the strongest power in the world. The U.S. is suppressing China. If we win on the battlefield at the expense of our international morality, we might mistakenly help the U.S. build an anti-China alliance that challenges our strategic position even more.”

Speaking of a war in the region, Hu wrote:

“The key is really morality. China is a rising power that has been ideologically rejected by the US and the West. The countries that have territorial disputes with China also sympathize with each other. If China does decide to go to war with a neighboring force, the international community will tend to favor the weaker side. ... Besides, the US will fully turn its public opinion machine against China. Therefore, we should not underestimate the complexity of a war.

“Before engaging in war with a neighboring force, China needs to do the following:”

1) Make it clear that it is the other side that broke the status quo;

2) Show the other side is the provocateur in a complex situation;

3) The international community must see that China worked hard diplomatically and politically to resolve the issue before resorting to war;

4) The international community must see the other side, not China, fired the first shot.

5) “...only in extreme situations, if we need to fire the first shot, we must deliver an ultimatum in advance so that a just war can be started in an upright manner.”

“During China’s rise, we need to keep a low profile, be patient, and bear all the complexities.” When dealing with small forces, Hu wrote, “we also need to win the war of opinion in addition to being decent. In terms of external conflict, one of our big problems is that we’re speaking too little and too slowly.... China must be a country that dares to fight. And this should be based on both strength and morality.... In this way, whether China is engaged in a war or not, it will win the respect of the world. One day, we will show our natural dignity and power without flexing muscles, and we will win without fighting a war,”

Hu concluded.

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