Disintegration Warfare And China’s New-Age Opium War

The United States may have a stronger military, but China’s quiet disintegration warfare seems to be successfully tearing the country apart.

What is disintegration warfare? It’s a concept discussed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, in which a country is attacked by non-military means. A quote by revered Chinese strategist Sun Tsu graces the cover of the PLA-published book Disintegration Warfare: “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

In his new book Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans, Peter Schweizer writes:

“In keeping with this approach, China’s official military strategy focuses on—in the Chinese leaders’ words—going after the United States’ ‘ “soft underbelly” in terms of politics, economics, and the spirit and psychology of [its] people.’ Chinese leaders have coined new terms such as ‘unrestricted warfare’ and ‘disintegration warfare’ to describe Sun Tzu’s old strategy of winning without fighting.”

Fentanyl is now the #1 cause of death for Americans 18 to 45. And it’s coming from China.


Using drugs to weaken the enemy likely holds particular sway as a strategy in China. Historically, drugs not all that different from modern fentanyl were used by European traders to bring China to its knees, resulting in the infamous opium wars.

While China denies any fentanyl is coming out of the country, its government is likely doing far more than just turning a blind eye to the production of synthetic opioids.

Propaganda is another way that China is looking to jeopardize America’s strength. Through social media, news articles, and AI-generated content, they seek to change global perceptions of our country.

Some even speculate that the COVID-19 pandemic was an attempt at biological warfare. While it seems unlikely that the release of the COVID-19 virus was an intentional decision by the Chinese government, it is notable that the city in which the virus originated contained a research lab experimenting on novel coronaviruses.

None of this information is a secret. The government knows where the fentanyl is coming from, the economic sway China holds, and the attempts to sway public opinion in foreign countries.

Our government knows that this one-sided warfare is happening, so why are they letting it continue without penalties or sanctions? It always leads back to money. Not only can our country not risk open war with China, our government isn’t willing to risk any further trade wars either. At the end of the day, Wall Street needs China, and the government needs Wall Street.

With China’s extensive manufacturing capabilities — thanks to the forced labor camps we all benefit from — the country has its hands in almost every industry in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that losing China’s manufacturing capabilities for even a few months extensively disrupts global supply chains.

With Americans as polarized and fractured as they are, it’s hard to imagine any sort of resistance to this disintegration warfare. Our government can’t keep production in the country, can’t keep the border secure and free of drugs, and can’t seem to agree with anything among themselves, much less the rest of the world.

Asking how we’ll stand up to China feels like shouting into the void, but it’s all we can do for now.