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The Evolution of Operational ArtFrom Napoleon to the Present$
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John Andreas Olsen and Martin van Creveld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599486.001.0001

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The Chinese Way of War

The Chinese Way of War

(p.195) 7 The Chinese Way of War
The Evolution of Operational Art

Andrew Scobell

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Chinese operational art, taking as its point of departure the rise of the Communist movement in the 1920s and the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Drawing on the writings of Sun Tzu, Zhuge Liang, and Mao Zedong, and on contemporary doctrines and experiences from both conventional war and guerrilla warfare, the author identifies the hallmarks of China's operational art as the combination of orthodox and unorthodox elements, a mixture of human factors and technology, and a blend of offensive and defensive priorities, as well as mobile and positional warfare. In addition, Chinese forces sometimes fight for show, sometimes for military victory, and sometimes for both.

Keywords:   China, Sun Tzu, Mao Zedong, operational art, doctrine, warfare, strategy, protracted warfare, irregular warfare

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