The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower

The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower

Michael Pillsbury

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 1250081343

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


One of the U.S. government's leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country's rise – and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world's leading superpower.

For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China's rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the "China Dream" is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?

Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China's secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the "hawks" in China's military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders – as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.

Pillsbury also explains how the U.S. government has helped – sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately – to make this "China Dream" come true, and he calls for the United States to implement a new, more competitive strategy toward China as it really is, and not as we might wish it to be. The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the twenty-first century.

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of a split between the two powerful Communist nations was almost too irresistible not to explore and, hopefully, exploit. On the other hand, the Americans believed that one Communist country was ideologically bound to support another and that together they would resist any attempt by the West to drive a wedge between them. A consensus slowly developed within the U.S. intelligence community—and, as would often be the case when it came to China over the ensuing decades, it was the wrong one. They

All-under-heaven (Tian-xia),” Diogenes 56, no. 1 (February 2009): 5–18, cited in Callahan, China Dreams: 20 Visions of the Future, 52.   36. William A. Callahan, “Chinese Visions of World Order: Post-hegemonic or a New Hegemony?,” International Studies Review 10 (2008): 749–61, 757, available at http://williamacallahan.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Callahan-TX-ISR-08.pdf.   37. According to William A. Callahan, Hu sees the world as tolerant of intersection among equal civilizations. Zhao’s

View, Nixon Presidential Library. NSC staffers Hyland and Morris addressed how America might not want to deter a Soviet attack on China, or take China’s side. In contrast, Kissinger argues in White House Years that he “could not accept a Soviet military assault on China. We had held this view before there was contact of any sort.” Kissinger, White House Years, 764. However, Patrick Tyler concludes that Kissinger’s description of his desire to defend China is false: “This self-serving statement is

that many in the outside world would prefer to divide China if given the opportunity.… China’s leaders retain in their minds a strategic map of the points on their periphery that make them vulnerable to foreign influence.” Michel Oksenberg, Taiwan, Tibet, and Hong Kong in Sino-American Relations (Stanford, CA: Institute for International Studies, 1997), 56.     2. For Chinese interpretations of the history and evolution of Sino-U.S. relations, see, for example, Qiao Mingshun, The First Page in

is no Congress of elected representatives or truly open forums to discuss such matters. The challenge for Western policymakers, intelligence analysts, and scholars in the coming decade is to penetrate the cloak of secrecy in which these debates occur and to determine the level of influence these different camps have. Until now, it has largely been taken for granted among Western policy and business elites that China seeks a peaceful rise and will gradually evolve to more resemble America. The

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