ACI Technical Reports


Powerful Narratives: Weaponized Harmony and the Soft Power Tools of China’s Rise to Global Primacy

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 3-4-2022

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Army Cyber Institute


This project explores how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) might use information and other soft-power mechanisms to rise as the dominant hegemonic power by 2035. We acknowledge that fourteen years is an ambitious timeframe within which to upset the balance of power across the globe without incurring the devastating results of a world war, but that is exactly the PRC’s ambition. We use the Threatcasting foresight methodology to explore nearly two dozen possible and probable future scenarios that might appear should the PRC and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continue to seek a Chinese-dominated world order. Specifically, we attempt to answer the question, “How does China employ information during the competition phase to advance its position on the global stage as the preponderant world power?” These imagined futures are models of the complex interactions between geopolitical, economic, social, and natural systems, and provide a sophisticated and relatable nuance when seen through the eyes of a person, in a place, experiencing a threat. We provide observations and recommendations about how the United States and allies could disrupt, mitigate, or recover from these future threats.

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