China’s New 2019 Defense White Paper: an Open Strategic Challenge to the United States, But One Which Does Not Have to Lead to Conflict
(Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies; issued July 24, 2019)
For all the furor over Iran and the Gulf, or Britain and Brexit, the most important foreign news of the month is what would normally be a relatively obscure Chinese official document: China’s National Defense in the New Era.

This White Paper was issued on July 22nd in both Chinese and English. Unlike China’s previous defense white papers — the most recent of which came out in 2015 and was blandly reassuring to the point of being vacuous — the new White Paper picks up the gauntlet that the U.S. threw down in its 2017 National Security Strategy and in 2018 National Defense Strategy. Both of these documents effectively made China the key objective in strengthening U.S. military forces and single it out as America’s primary strategic competitor.

China’s National Defense in the New Era is a clear and detailed 51-page response to the massive shift in U.S. strategy from a focus on counterterrorism and extremism to competition and possible conflict with China and Russia. It flags the fact that America and China are now competing superpowers, and that China’s growing military forces are developing to the point where they will be able to challenge the United States. More than that, the detailed contents of the White Paper are a direct response to the official U.S. reports on Chinese Military Power issued by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Click here for the full report (51 PDF pages) on the CSIS website.

Click here for the official translation of the China’s white paper (Word Format) on the Xinhua website.


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