CCP Metrics: Comprehensive National Power
According to the following article, the CCP uses some very specific metrics to assess where they are in the world, where everyone else is, and that these metrics are used to shape policy decisions. In the article below, please ignore the pro-Trump spin – focus instead on understanding how the CCP thinks, how this concept drives what they do – and see how the attempts to move these numbers end up in CCP policy selections.
Since we are going to be playing the game, it is instructive to understand the methodology the other player is using to guide their strategy.
The premise is that a nation’s Comprehensive National Power can be given a numerical value based on a specific but exceptionally wide range of factors, from military strength, to soft power, to access to natural resources, to advances in research and development, and much more.
Retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain Bernard Moreland — whose last posting was as U.S. Coast Guard liaison to Beijing — explains: “One of the important things to understand about CNP is that it is an objective metric. Beijing constantly calculates and recalculates China’s CNP relative to other nations the same way many of us watch our 401(k) grow. For us in the West, concepts like ‘national power’ are subjective vague concepts. The [Chinese Communist Party is] obsessed with engineering and calculating everything and believe that all issues can be reduced to numbers and algorithms. This is what they mean when they euphemistically refer to ‘scientific approaches.’”
Additionally, according to Comprehensive National Power logic, a country’s relative CNP can also increase if competitors drop down in the ranking. So, say the Chinese economy is going to be affected by an epidemic. It makes sense to not actively limit the disease’s spread so that it becomes a pandemic, and other countries are affected as well.
These actions – considered by many at least immoral if not illegal — are not aberrations. They are part of the CCP’s system. And for years the system has been working; China’s Comprehensive National Power has been increasing.
Note: I’m not saying this is the right way to look at things – at some point, it will backfire. I think it already has backfired. But at least we can see what the thinking is, and how it operates.