Ancient Chinese Strategists and Comprehensive National Power

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Although the phrase “Comprehensive National Power” was invented in 1984, it has cultural roots in Chinese ancient statecraft. In his book, Grand Strategy, Wu Chunqiu provides examples from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Wu Zi’s The Art of War, and Guan Zi to show how “the discussion of warfare in Chinese ancient literature embodies national power thinking.” He writes that “China’s wise ancient strategists never advocated only relying on military power to conquer the enemy, but emphasized combining military power with non-military power related to war in order to get the upper hand.” Sun Zi identified “five things” and “seven stratagems” which governed the outcome of war. Wu Zi wrote about six conditions which, if the other side’s strength was greater, meant war should be avoided. Wu Chunqiu writes, “These six points are relatively complete, they simply are the epitome of today’s concept of comprehensive national power.” 
 
According to Wu Chunqiu, calculating CNP can aid a nation not just for war but also to “coordinate a political and diplomatic offensive, to psychologically disintegrate the enemy forces and subdue them.” Wu states,
 
“Victory without war does not mean that there is not any war at all. The wars one must fight are political wars, economic wars, science and technology wars, diplomatic wars, etc. To sum up in a word, it is a war of Comprehensive National Power.”
 
Download the book from here… The Art of War

Full Documentary on Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.

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