Long considered one of the top China experts in the US government, Pillsbury says he no longer believes that China is pursuing a 'win-win' policy with the US.
By FEBRUARY 2, 2015
Serving in various senior national security positions in the United States government, Michael Pillsbury has been meeting for decades with Chinese military planners and civilian strategists in an effort to figure out what they think.
In the process, Pillsbury says he’s detected a long-term Chinese strategy: First, to acquire Western technology, then to develop a powerful economy, and finally – three to four decades from now – to replace the United States as the world’s superpower. And if Chinese planners get their way, Pillsbury says, China may achieve its ultimate goal without firing a shot.
In his book The Hundred-Year Marathon, Pillsbury argues that successive US administrations have been led to believe that as China develops economically, it will embrace a more open economy and liberal democratic ideas.
But it has become increasingly obvious that under China’s President Xi Jinping, things haven’t worked out that way, and Pillsbury attempts to explain why.
In foreign policy, says Pillsbury, Xi has been promoting a military build-up and pursuing much more nationalist actions than his immediate predecessors, particularly when it comes to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Pillsbury says that Xi’s call for a “strong nation dream” can be traced back to "The China Dream," a book published in China in 2010 and written by an army colonel named Liu Mingfu. The book was a bestseller in China.
It was there that Pillsbury first spotted a reference to “the Hundred-Year Marathon”.