The Chinese Strategic Mind

The Chinese Strategic Mind

Hong Liu

This book addresses the fundamental issue: does the Chinese strategic mind have its own idiosyncrasies which differ considerably from those of the Western mind? It expounds and unravels the particular characteristics of the Chinese strategic mind: what they are, how they are evolved and what strategic implications they have. This book adopts a holistic approach to an analysis of Chinese strategic thinking, drawing upon the fields of literature (including the sources of both the Chinese and English languages), military studies, political science, history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, linguistics and business strategy. It combines a detailed consideration of these disciplines with a series of case studies to elucidate the formation, nature and crucial managerial implications of the idiosyncratic Chinese strategic mind.

Chapter 1: The knowledge lacuna and implications

Hong Liu

Subjects: business and management, asia business, business leadership, organisational behaviour, strategic management

Extract

It has come as a surprise that only a handful of Western politicians and business or organisational leaders to date have been aware that a great deal of conflict and contention between them and their Chinese counterparts is attributable to the misunderstandings associated with different strategic mind-sets. A 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘Misunderstanding China: how did Western policy makers and academics repeatedly get China so wrong?’, written by Michael Pillsbury, a senior consultant to the US Defense Department, highlights the gravity of this chasm. The Middle Kingdom – potentially the most formidable opponent we have ever faced – remains as much of a mystery as ever … Why does doubt and conjecture still shroud a nation that for six decades we have studied, worked against, then allied with, then clashed with again? … The answer that I’ve come to after studying the Chinese for 40 years is that the problem is not China, but us. For six decades we Westerners have looked at China through our own self-interest. In his 2015 book The Hundred-Year Marathon, Michael Pillsbury further addresses differences in mentalities between the Chinese and US governments and their potential consequences.