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This post was edited by abramicus at 2014-6-30 11:15|
China, Korea and Japan have produced some of the best Wei Qi (Go, in Japan) players, and the game has been likened to a war of conquest of territories. However, there has not been any serious application of its principles to modern warfare, except to state that surrounding an enemy's forces usually results in its capitulatinon or destruction. This kind of simplified war management can only work in very limited circumstances.
But wait . . .
The Weiqi board game is valuable for not just its rules of play, but also for its assumptions.
First, each stone when placed on the board is unassailable unless it is surrounded either directly it its adjacent spaces, or indirectly in the spaces adjacent to the group to which it belongs. For this to be true in real warfare, any force deployed onto the board, to count as a stone, must possess this same characteristic. Clearly, the creators of the game are not interested in small groups that cannot sustain themselves indefinitely when left alone. Groups that have insufficient food, fuel and firepower for the duration of the entire campaign do not make the grade of being a "stone". That is a tall order by modern standards.
Secondly, each stone would be able to tolerate the nearby activity of enemy forces adjacent to it in at most 3 separate directions. Clearly, this assumes that each stone can only project no more than one-third of its total power in any direction it wishes, and therefore a single stone, when surrounded in 3 directions by enemy stones, can still survive their hostile activities. In fact, this is approximately true in real battles. But notice that the creators of Weiqi further required that each third of firepower must come from an orthogonally independent direction. Again, this is true for narrow passes, where a much smaller force can stop a larger army in its tracks, but cannot do so if it is attacked with only one third of the force of the larger army, in three different directions.
Forces deployed on the battlefield that do not satisfy the above assumptions or criteria are not qualified to be "stones".
The best modern example of using "stones" in warfare was the suggestion of Gen. Hans von Seeckt's to use thirty well-fortified blockhouses connected by three thousand "turtle camps" to be electrically wired as a fence, the perimeter of which was to be defended by 1000 millitary trucks ready to mobilize with lightning speed to any point of attack by the Jaiangxi Soviet forces seeking to break the blockade. It was fundamentally warfare by seige. This was the fifth and final encirclement campaign against the Jiangxi Soviety in 1934, that succeeded within less than a year of von Seeckt's arrival as the head of the German mission advising Chiang Kaishek against the communist forces. It seems to have succeeded in dislodging the Jiangxi Soviet's forces, that had lost 40% of its manpower and equipment by the time it chose to retreat on a Long March. But it also failed to truly corner it its opponent, because it was simply too slow and redundant. In the end, one can say, it really failed against the strategy of Mao to march all the way to Yan'an, where the Hebei Soviet forces of He Long joined him. Mao also bested Chiang's leadership by adopting by coincidence, another of von Seeckt's cardinal principles of military preparedness, which is that hands of steel and hearts of iron are more important than the weapons themselves. When Mao counterattacked from Yan'an, he took key spots and turned them into his strongholds without need for electric fences to connect them. These were impregnable bastions in themselves, and led to the route of the entire Chiang army at a blistering speed that won the final war in 1949.
As applied to Japan, if indeed a "defensive conquest" is necessary to preserve the security and sovereignty of the Chinese people, the twin questions that China needs to answer ahead of time are:
(1) What kinds of forces can China deploy into and around Japanese territory that can qualify as "stones"?
(2) Where in the entire land, sea and air space of Japan should these "stones" be placed, to maximize one's control of the enemy territory, and deny the enemy's control of the same.
After this, China will have to answer how Japan would respond to these same questions as regards Chinese territory.
And the final chapter of this game will depend on how both sides conduct the Warfare of Weiqi with modern technology and current states of heart of their respective populations. In all scenarios, the aim is not to decimate the innocent civilian populations, but rather, to take them out of the control of the enemies who order, work, and arm them to behave like the barbarians that their leaders have been, are, and will always be.