Wolf Warriors Killed China’s Grand Strategy
By Sulmaan Wasif Khan
May 28, 2021
Sometime in 2020, China came unmoored from its grand strategy. Until then, Beijing’s diplomatic, military, and economic efforts were all directed toward national security. Learned observers could quibble about whether Beijing saw security as inseparable from hegemony; they could debate how productive China’s policies were. But the consistency of purpose underpinning China’s behavior was hard to miss.
Of late, however, China has lost that purposefulness—one of the hallmarks of grand strategy. The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences. Just why that breakdown has occurred is uncertain, but it is clear that the change has put both China and the world in jeopardy. China risks undoing all it has gained—at considerable cost—since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power. And the rest of the world, particularly the United States, finds itself confronted not with the hard task of managing a rising, reasonably predictable power but the infinitely harder job of managing a flailing one.