The following selections are taken from “Unrestricted Warfare,” a book published in China in February 1999 which proposes tactics for developing countries, in particular China, to compensate for their military inferiority vis-à-vis the United States during a high-tech war. The selections include the table of contents, preface, afterword, and biographical information about the authors printed on the cover. The book was written by two PLA senior colonels from the younger generation of Chinese military officers and was published by the PLA Literature and Arts Publishing House in Beijing, suggesting that its release was endorsed by at least some elements of the PLA leadership. This impression was reinforced by an interview with Qiao and laudatory review of the book carried by the party youth league’s official daily Zhongguo Qingnian Bao on 28 June.
Published prior to the bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade, the book has recently drawn the attention of both the Chinese and Western press for its advocacy of a multitude of means, both military and particularly non-military, to strike at the United States during times of conflict. Hacking into websites, targeting financial institutions, terrorism, using the media, and conducting urban warfare are among the methods proposed. In the Zhongguo Qingnian Bao interview, Qiao was quoted as stating that “the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.” Elaborating on this idea, he asserted that strong countries would not use the same approach against weak countries because “strong countries make the rules while rising ones break them and exploit loopholes . . .The United States breaks [UN rules] and makes new ones when these rules don’t suit [its purposes], but it has to observe its own rules or the whole world will not trust it.”