In potential confrontation, the weaker one tends to resort to bluffing, while the stronger one tends to conceal its enmity. According to Sun Tzu’s teaching, when you want to retreat, pretend that you are going to attack, while when you want to attack, pretend that you are going to retreat. “The art of war is an art of deception.”
Hong Kong’s Ming Pao in its exclusive report quotes the Vice President of China’s Academy of Military Sciences, Lieutenant General Ren Haiquan, who headed the Chinese delegation in attending the Asian Security Conference. Ren said in an interview on June 2, in response of US deployment of 60% of its navy in the Asia-Pacific region, that it should not be regarded as a terrible issue, nor as an issue deserving serious concerns. Ren said that China had to make preparations for the worst. Once the country’s interests are threatened, China’s means of counter attack will “make you very much horrified.”
According to its new strategy, the US will readjust the proportion of its navy deployed in the Pacific in 8 years, with an increase from 50% to 60%, including 6 aircraft carriers there. Some analysts believe that the US wants to rearrange its deployment in the Asia-Pacific region and tighten its encirclement of China, so as to exert to the utmost in containing China. It will enhance its flexibility in interfering in regional affairs through rotation of small and efficient deployment.
Regarding the new US strategy, in his TV interview, Ren Haiquan made two points. The first was that “it shall not be regarded as a terrible issue”. He said, after withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, the US will have reduced lots of warships and aircrafts. Now, in appearance, there will be an increase of 10% by placing 60% warships in the Pacific, but taking into account the reduction of arms, its overall strength there would remain the same as before. Moreover, Ren pointed out that under the influence of its Cold War mindset, the US had doubt and worry about China’s rise, and always believed that it had to be militarily prepared to some extent. “I believe that it aims at defence rather than attack. That is the first point. It shall not be regarded as a terrible issue.”
Strengthening troops and defense and “prepare for the worst”
Ren’s second point was “it shall not be regarded as an issue deserving concerns”. China shall enhance its awareness of unexpected development and make preparations for various kinds of complicated and grim situations, including preparations for war. China had its own guidelines in dealing with wars. It first opposes, and second is not afraid of wars; it looks down strategically and attaches importance tactically; and in addition, it make preparations for the worst and strive for the best.
Therefore, China should now perfect its military strategy, enhance the development of its national defence and improve the combat capacity of its military. He stressed that China would never seek hegemony or aggression towards an enemy country. “We do not attack others if we are not attacked, but if we are attacked we will certainly attack back.” When China’s fundamental interests are threatened, China will fight back with the means that will “make you very much horrified”.
Going against the trend will certainly end up being forsaken by all one’s allies and friends.
Regarding future development of Sino-US relations, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta mentioned in his speech on June 2 that Sino-US relations were among the most important relations in the world. Ren believes that it reflects the great importance the US attaches to its relations with China.
America’s new Asian-Pacific strategy has been formulated on the basis of its national interests, its financial difficulties and the situation of world security. Ren stressed that Asian-Pacific countries held the common view that there should be mutual respect and assistance, and conscientious cooperation in the region. He said, “Anybody who tries to go against the trend will certainly end up being forsaken by all his allies and friends and losing support for his unjust cause.”
- Panetta: Pentagon to shift warships to Pacific (cbsnews.com)
- Asia to be base for 60 pc of U.S. fleet; China welcomes move (chinadailymail.com)
- US warships in Pacific relocation (bbc.co.uk)