RUSI JournalVolume 164Issue 3members only

Shashoujian, or, the Way of the Dragon

Main Image Credit An examination of the key concepts in China’s military history may show that Beijing's quest for anti-access capabilities is more offensive than previously thought. Courtesy of IceUnshattered/Wikimedia

Historical Chinese military concepts still exert a profound influence over the country’s current military modernisation.

The Chinese term Shashoujian, most commonly translated in Western strategic literature as ‘the assassin’s mace’, may be more than just a reference to innovative weapons systems and weapons development programmes. Manabrata Guha makes a case for recognising it as a key strategic-conceptual armature that may be driving Chinese military strategy, and thus a means for gaining a deeper insight into an emergent Chinese strategic-military posture.

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