Chinese Attitudes on Preventive War and the 'Preemption Doctrine'   [open pdf - 0B]

"With the release of President Bush's first National Security Strategy (NSS) in September 2002, the administration articulated a bold claim about the use of military force that had been crystallizing in American strategic circles over the previous decade. According to a central element in the emerging Bush Doctrine,' launching attacks against so-called rogue states suspected of pursuing weapons of mass destruction was a normatively legitimate and strategically necessary response to the changing threat environment. While the Bush administration used the language of preemption to characterize this policy option, the logic of using force under these circumstances was drawn directly from the concept of preventive war. Preventive war has a long-standing history in the modern state system, emerging from one of the most important dynamics of international politics -- the power shift problem. […] Building on this question, this paper examines attitudes on preventive war in the case of the Peoples Republic of China. Specifically it asks how Chinese elites -- government officials and academics -- view preventive war in the wake of American efforts to recast the preventive war norm and the invasion of Iraq."

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