An early cover of the book Unrestricted Warfare (left graphic). Its authors Qiao Liang, and Wang Xiang Sui. Graphic/Photo: Wikipedia and Worldinwar.eu
ccording to Wikipedia, “Unrestricted Warfare, is a book on military strategy written in 1999 by two colonels in the People’s Liberation Army, Qiao Liang, and Wang Xiangsui. Its primary concern is how a nation such as China can defeat a technologically superior opponent (such as the United States) through a variety of means. Rather than focusing on direct military confrontation, this book instead examines a variety of other means. Such means include using International Law and a variety of economic means to place one’s opponent in a bad position and circumvent the need for direct military action.”
The two PLA colonels point to America’s narrow concept of warfare and argue that by using a variety of methods, other than direct military confrontation, China will be able to weaken and even defeat it. Those other methods include: political action through transnational or non-governmental organizations; economic warfare given the interconnected nature of economies today; the attack of data, transportation, financial, and communication networks; and terrorist attacks which aside from the devastation they cause, likewise erode a nation’s sense of security and well being.
From China’s perspective, their quest for superiority is a “zero-sum game.” Anything that weakens other countries strengthens China. Americans are only now becoming acutely aware that countries like China and Russia are doing their best to destabilize the United States. And China, because of its economic clout, is the more dangerous of the two.
The question we Filipinos must also ask is whether China is sabotaging the Philippines as well. Keeping us weak and off-guard benefits China. We remain poor, militarily weak, and unable to adequately protect what belongs to us. For example, the shoals and reefs that fall within our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). China has been illegally occupying some of them, claiming the fishing rights to their adjacent waters, and all the oil and minerals underneath them. Keeping the Philippines weak benefits China because a weak Philippines will never challenge it.
And then there are all the drugs that continue to flow into the Philippines, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs? Might the Chinese also have their hand in this? The more drug-dependent young Filipinos there are, the less number of able-bodied men there are to defend the country. And the easier it will be for China to coerce the Philippine Government into accepting their lopsided terms for any agreement.
Also, according to international financial watchdog groups, China appears to have no qualms about offering kickbacks and under-the-table deals when dealing with corrupt politicians from countries across the globe. Given the level of corruption in the Philippines, it is highly likely that some politicians past and present have amassed small fortunes from China’s “kickback largesse.”
So how do Pinoys defend against the unrestricted warfare waged on us by China? Unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) realized early on that it could “weaponize” the latest technologies to make itself nearly invincible. 5G, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence (AI), to name a few, are now used to monitor, control, and manipulate, people like never before.
From Duterte’s perspective, Filipinos might as well get on the good side of the Chinese and the Russians. America, after all, is no longer the dependable ally it used to be. Many U.S. politicians would be unable to find the Philippines on a map anyway.
How can we defend ourselves? Filipinos will have to close ranks and be wary of allowing China to dominate us in any way. Remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Filipinos have to be skeptical of everything emanating from China. Until that time, when the CCP gives up its hegemonic ambitions and becomes a transparent, liberal democracy, we Filipinos cannot ever let their guard down. We lost Panatag Shoal when we did in 2012. The Scarborough Shoal standoff with China should be a sobering lesson for each and every Filipino. What more might we lose if we let down our guard again? Published 10/29/2019