New Delhi. Drawing a parallel between the Indian and the Chinese approaches towards acquiring the mantle of global powers, Dr Michael Pillsbury, a distinguished U.S. defense policy adviser and a well known China expert today said that China has historically had a more aggressive approach towards reaching a pre-eminent position in the world than India, which is more ‘modest’ in its ambitions.

Currently head of Hudson Institute’s Center for Chinese Strategy, Dr Pillsbury was at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses on November 19, 2015, to discuss his book ‘The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower’.

 Presenting a snapshot view of his book, Dr Pillsbury said that the United States has, for more than forty years, played an indispensable role in helping China build up its economy and military capabilities and take a prominent place on the world stage, in the belief that the facilitation of China’s rise will help China “become a democratic and peaceful power, without ambitions of regional or even global dominance”. The book reveals that China’s secret strategy was actually to surpass the United States as the world’s dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

Dr Pillsbury’s book is based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents. It offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders. Although the internal review process of the book conducted by the U.S. Department of Defence, the CIA and the FBI resulted in excluding classified materials, it contains both nuggets of information and insights about how China pursued its economic and geo-strategic interests silently and relentlessly.

During his discussion, Dr Pillsbury shared interesting snippets from his interactions with Chinese interlocutors, who admitted to him the existence of various elements of this strategy. In his book, he also offers recommendations on how the United States can avoid losing out to China.

The interaction was chaired by Director General, IDSA, Jayant Prasad.