A controversial and seethingly-nationalist PLA-backed video and a plethora of crazy articles have been making the rounds on the Chinese internet, scaring imperialists, capitalists, and separatists everywhere. Most terrifying are the “Six Inevitable Wars” that China must fight in the next fifty years. This stuff makes the Global Times look like a Japan-loving peace-rag written by Tibetan and Uyghur separatists.
Before 2063 China will, apparently, be engaged in the wars over the following issues:
- 1. Taiwanese unification (2020 – 2025)
- 2. South China Sea islands (2025 – 2030)
- 3. “Southern” Tibet (2035 – 2040)
- 4. Diaoyutai and Ryukyu islands (2040 – 2045)
- 5. “Outer” Mongolia (2045 – 2050)
- 6. “Recover the territory seized by Russia” (2055 – 2060)
Not included in the list are the inevitably battles to recapture Chinese Alaska and to Unify Outer France, but they are presumably floating around some PLA general’s mind. Geoff Wade at The Strategist translated large chunks of the lovely super-nationalist video “Silent Contest” and provided some great commentary on the weird, paranoid ramblings of radical generals and their admirers:
Highly polemical, and set against a rousing soundtrack, the film suggests that the United States is trying to subvert China through five avenues: (1) undermining China politically, (2) engaging in cultural infiltration, (3) warfare in terms of ideas, (4) the training of fifth column agents and (5) the fostering of opposition forces within China. The overall message is that the United States seeks not simply to dismember China but aims to find ways to take it under control. Frank Ching notes a strong anti-Hong Kong democrat aspect in the film, amid an implicit fear that a Hong Kong-Taiwan-US alliance could destabilize the PRC. The film’s intended audience are certainly the domestic military and civilian constituencies, and it aims to be rousing and to induce indignity and anger. Reactions within China have varied, from the obviously supportive to the derisory.
The PLA was intimately involved in the making of the film. More specifically, the National Defence University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, which is subordinate to the Ministry of State Security, participated in the production of the film earlier this year. Without doubt, it is a reaction to the US ‘pivot’ to Asia and the increased American engagement with the region since 2011, but obviously has deeper roots. With such a range of august national institutions being involved in the production of the film, it might be suggested that the rather extreme sentiments expressed therein are not restricted to some hawkish elements in the PLA.
A full rundown can be read at The Strategist, and the above New Chinese Map includes the Middle Kingdom’s aspirations to rope in old tributary states and be less “in the middle” and more “kind of everywhere at once.”
The video itself, if you dare watch, is in Chinese and contains many scenes of Chinese text on a black background. Viewing not recommended:
[Edited: The first version of this article failed to separate the video above from the related PLA documents. The “6 Wars” text is in the documents, but not in the video.]