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Classical Methods

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The Influence and Use of Chinese Classical Military Philosophy in the Writings of Mao Zedong

image of Journal of Chinese Military History

AbstractThe literature of warfare records the insights of past generations into one of the most harrowing and trying elements of the human experience. The classical works from the Warring States period created the base of military thought in China that also influenced much of East Asia. According to Mao Zedong, these ancient texts bore special importance as literature, sources of study, and inspiration for the people of China. This hard-purchased expertise reflected the experiences of the past that present scholars must carefully study, especially as new works of military thought within the Chinese literary base appeared in the twentieth century, penned and spoken by Mao himself. These new texts demonstrated a steady continuity from the earliest Chinese military-philosophical literature. Most notably, these common concepts included a consistent conceptualization about the role of warfare in society, the importance of complementary opposites, capitalizing on strengths and exploiting weaknesses, and adaptability to changing dynamics. The influence of Mao’s writings ensured these precepts continued to exercise an important influence upon the People’s Republic of China, creating the base of military-philosophical literature in the prc.

Affiliations: 1: University of Central Oklahomaesmith43@uco.edu

10.1163/22127453-12341260
/content/journals/10.1163/22127453-12341260
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/content/journals/10.1163/22127453-12341260
2014-05-14
2017-11-18

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