South Asia and Beyond

‘China’s Prefers Grey Zone Tactics To Kinetic War’

If China had a choice, it would settle its territorial disputes through grey zone tactics rather than kinetic war-fighting, says Professor Bates Gill, Editor of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) project ‘Meeting China’s Military Challenges: Collective Responses of U.S. Allies And Security Partners’. The Professor of Asia-Pacific Security Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney discussed various aspects of the report by experts from Australia, India, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

Given below is the transcript of a chunk from the interview:

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One of the interesting things that I found out during the course of the study, reading the six experts opinions and engaging with others govt leaders from the region and strategic thinkers around the region, was precisely the point you have made and that is the real concern among many countries about the so called grey zone tactics, not so much kinetic war fighting. There were some exceptions, obviously Taiwan is the most concerned about the possibility of kinetic conflict with China but even there very high degree of concern or awareness the effort underway by China to undermine morale, to undermine preparedness in Taiwan thru so called grey zone tactics, activities short of conflict. I think if Beijing had its preferences, of course, they would like to settle the various territorial disputes that they have they would like to asset Chinese interests more broadly around its territory without having to fight and to do so with its coercive and deterrent uses of grey zone tactics. So that I think explains why it was such a prominent element of the various experts concerns when talking about what sort of capabilities and threats are emanating from China that concern them most.