Chinese General Says ‘Contain the United States’ by Attacking Its Finances
A major general in the Chinese military is calling for China to contain the United States by attacking its finances.
“That’s the way to control America’s lifeblood,” writes Maj. Gen. Qiao Liang, a professor at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University, in an op-ed published in China Military Online, the official mouthpiece of the PLA.
“To effectively contain the United States, other countries shall think more about how to cut off the capital flow to the United States while formulating their strategies,” he writes.
Qiao then praises the economic impact on the United States caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He states, “Apart from political and mental impact, a much heavier blow was that it drove more than US$300 billion out of the country within a month.”
Proposed Chinese strategies such as this should be taken seriously, according to Casey Fleming, CEO of BLACKOPS Partners Corporation, which provides intelligence and cyber strategy to the Fortune 500.
“It’s extremely critical. It’s extremely serious,” said Fleming, noting that China is already waging a full-scale economic war on the United States using methods including cyberattacks, conventional espionage, and currency manipulation.
“The financial throttling is all part of economic warfare,” Fleming said. “The United States has been in a protracted economic war that includes information war and financial war—and it’s increasing.”
Qiao is one of the leading voices on China’s uses of economic warfare, and its broader military strategies using unconventional warfare.
In 1999, when Qiao was still a colonel, he co-authored the book “Unrestricted Warfare” with another colonel, Wang Xiangsui.
In “Unrestricted Warfare,” Qiao and Wang promoted the use of terrorism, cyberattacks, legal warfare (also called “lawfare”), and economic warfare against the United States.
Qiao and Wang argued that the U.S. military limits its view of military advancement to technology, and largely ignores unconventional warfighting environments—especially when it comes to economic attacks. They said the United States was vulnerable in this regard, and that China could target these vulnerabilities militarily.
While “Unrestricted Warfare” was published 17 years ago, many of the strategies it proposed can now be seen playing out. It has remained one of the main texts cited by experts on the Chinese regime’s use of cyberattacks and other forms of unconventional warfare.
Qiao’s recent op-ed plays with some similar concepts, but says the Chinese military should leverage geopolitics to attack the United States financially.
In Russia’s case, he notes, it exports oil, gas, and mineral resources to support its economy. “If anything happened at any geopolitical juncture—for instance, if a country cut off its oil and gas pipeline, that would directly affect its economy,” he states. “That’s why geopolitics is so important for countries like Russia.”
Noting the importance of geopolitics to a nation’s finances, Qiao argues that China should place strategic importance on key shipping channels—including the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait, Gwadar Port, and the China–Pakistan Railway.
“From geopolitics to currency-politics and to the current age that we can hardly name yet,” he states, “only those who can adapt to changes will be the final winner.”