Leadership: Long Range Planning As A Weapon


May 30,2008: While China is still, technically, a communist police state, many of the things we usually attribute to such dictatorships are gone. OK, they still have censorship, secret police, and slave labor. But compared to a few decades ago, and current examples like North Korea and Cuba, China is a lot better place to live and work. But one of the less well known communist state attributes that still thrives is long range planning. While corporations often have this sort of thing, working out operations 5, 10 or more years in the future, it's less common for nations to do that. This is generally because politicians rarely see beyond their own term of office, which in democracies is not all that long. But China has never had to worry about elected officials. Before the communists, there was thousands of years of monarchies, and many of those planned long.

China does not say much publicly about its long range plans, but the signs are everywhere, especially when it comes to military affairs. Over the last few decades, China has been systematically building a world class military equipment manufacturing industry. While some of these technologies have commercial uses, many do not. It's not just the technology, which can be stolen (from the U.S., Russia, Japan or Europe), but the skilled workers and web of high tech suppliers that must be created. China is not allowing all this to develop by chance. Time and again, you can see the government encouraging, or ordering, things to be done that will make China a source, and not just a buyer, of high tech weapons.

The military is planning as well. Personnel policies are slowly being changed, for the future time when the military will be much smaller, and much better educated and trained. The Chinese military has carefully studied what the U.S. military has done since it went all-volunteer in the 1970s, and how it developed into the most effective military force on the planet.

The Chinese have a plan, and they will continue carrying it out for decades, just as they have already done for decades.


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