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Learning from the Stones: A Go Approach to Mastering China's Strategic Concept, Shi


Learning from the Stones: A Go Approach to Mastering China's Strategic Concept, Shi - Cover

Authored by Dr. David Lai.

May 2004

35 Pages

Brief Synopsis

To help with the process of identifying those new and untested strategic concepts that merit further examination, the Strategic Studies Institute is publishing a special series called "Advancing Strategic Thought." This provides a venue--a safe haven--for creative, innovative, and experimental thinking about national security policy and military strategy. In this monograph, the author uses the ancient game of Go as a metaphor for the Chinese approach to strategy. He shows that this is very different than the linear method that underlies American strategy. By better understanding Go, he argues, American strategies could better understand Chinese strategy.

SUMMARY

Most U.S. political and military leaders are aware of the difference in strategic thinking and international behavior between the United States and China. Many have also studied Sun Tzu's Art of War and can recite the Chinese master strategist's famous saying: “Know the enemy and know yourself, in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.” However, few really understand the essence of the difference.

The author introduces a new approach to learning about the different ways of strategic thinking and interaction in Chinese culture. It is through learning the Chinese board game called go. This game is a living reflection of Chinese philosophy, culture, strategic thinking, warfare, military tactics, and diplomatic bargaining. The author also sheds light on the remarkable connection between go and the strategic concepts in Sun Tzu's Art of War.

A modest claim is made in this writing that a little knowledge of go will take U.S. leaders a long way in understanding the essence of the Chinese way of war and diplomacy.


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