Essential stuff: everything you wanted to know, at exhaustive length, about China's military posture in its varied wars, conflicts and disputes since 1949, and moving over the horizon, the consequent prospects of war with the United States in the near or medium term.
As an added bonus the paper includes a fascinating section on China's hierarchy of commentary, vocabulary of deterrence and threat calibration. So keep an eye out for the following:
When Beijing wishes to convey a potential use of force, it deploys a lexicon of threat and retaliation warnings. It is the presence of these warnings in authoritative statements and commentary with increasing explicitness that conveys Beijing’s readiness to use force. The following list presents this lexicon in roughly ascending order of threat:
■ X is “playing with fire” and may “get burned”
■ Beijing so far has “exercised the greatest restraint and forbearance” but this “should not
be taken as weakness and submissiveness”
■ Do “not turn a deaf ear to China’s warnings”; China “cannot stand idly by”
■ “How far will you go? We shall wait and see”
■ “China’s forbearance has limits”; X is “deluding itself in thinking we are weak and can
■ If X does not cease its behavior, it “will meet the punishment it deserves”
■ “Do not complain later that we did not give you clear warning in advance”
■ We have been “driven beyond forbearance” and are “forced to counterattack”; our “restraint was regarded as an invitation to bullying”; our “warnings fell on deaf ears”
■ “We will not attack if we are not attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack.”
So now you know what to keep an eye out for.