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TRADITIONAL MILITARY THINKING AND THE DEFENSIVE STRATEGY OF CHINA

Lieutenant General Li Jijun
Vice President of the Academy of Military Science
The Chinese People's Liberation Army

Letort Paper No. 1

Introduction by
Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr.

Edited by
Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr.

August 29, 1997

The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


FOREWORD

On July 15, 1997, the U.S. Army War College hosted a delegation from the Chinese Academy of Military Science. During the delegation's visit, Academy representatives and members of the U.S. Army War College faculty engaged in discussions ranging from professional military education to national security and military strategy. The highlight of the visit, however, was a speech delivered to the U.S. Army War College Corresponding Studies Class of 1997 by the Chinese delegation's leader, Lieutenant General Li Jijun.

As relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China continue to improve, elements of the People's Liberation Army have demonstrated their sincere willingness to work toward better professional relationships with their U.S. military counterparts. In his address, General Li set the cornerstone for a future relationship between the Academy of Military Science and the U.S. Army War College that will further those goals.

General Li graciously agreed to the publication of his address. The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to offer it as the first in its "Letort Papers" series with the hope that it will be a vehicle by which strategists and defense professionals in the United States and elsewhere may develop a better understanding of how the Chinese view their own national security and how the People's Liberation Army sees its role in contemporary Chinese military strategy.




                         RICHARD H. WITHERSPOON
                         Colonel, U.S. Army
                         Director, Strategic Studies Institute


SUMMARY

Chinese Lieutenant General Li Jijun set the foundation for a future relationship between the Chinese Academy of Military Science and the U.S. Army War College. In support of China's policies of "reform and opening up," the Chinese People's Liberation Army is actively seking military-to-military relations with other nations, particularly with the United States. Aware of this historic juncture, the author delivered his address in the spirit of increased Sino-American dialogue and cooperation. The speech is interesting for what it tells us not only about Chinese strategy, but how the Chinese government views threats to its national security.


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