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Contours of Conflict in the 21st Century

Contours of Conflict in the 21st Century

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Published by: Silendo on Apr 26, 2011
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06/19/2013

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HCSS Report55

CHINESE LANGUAGE PERSPECTIVES: TRADITIONALIST AND MODERN

Salience

While the salience of confict receives only minor attention in the Chinese
foresight community, opinions are divided into those who believe that
confict will be fairly frequent and those who believe that confict will
be fairly infrequent. Digging deeper into the literature, however, the two
views do not seem be complete opposites. Meng points out that future
conficts ‘will have the characteristics of high frequency, unexpectedness,

and uncertainty’, 37

and such conficts are generally described as conficts
of low intensity and limited extensiveness. In the same article, the author
also states that large-scale ‘world-wide conficts will not take place in the
future, whereas limited regional conficts will be unavoidable and will
tend to be quite complicated’.
38

This refects a commonly held Chinese
view about the salience of future conficts: large-scale and high-intensity
conficts will be infrequent while small-scale regional conficts can be
expected to be much more common.

37 Meng, ‘Gāo jìshù tiáojiàn xià zhànzhēng yǔ hépíng de xīn tèdiǎn’ [Features of Future War and
Peace in a High-Tech Environment].

38 Ibid., 12.

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