Sunday, 28 November 2021
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

     |      View our Twitter page at     |     


China’s foreign policy in the 21st Century rests on two principal strategies of warfare advanced by Sun Tzu 2,500 years ago in The Art of War. First, writes Joseph E Fallon : “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” And second, “Your aim must be to take All-under-Heaven intact.” “All-under-Heaven” is translated as tianxia.


“Lacking formal boundaries, [tianxia] may take in the known world. In current foreign policy debates, it means a projected global order that, unlike the system of nation-states, conforms to Chinese values, and in nationalist interpretations is amenable to Chinese interests.”


The goal of tianxia is to recast international relations into a China-centric, hierarchical, new world order consisting of China as the paramount power interacting with tributary states. It seeks to change international standards, economic, legal, and political, so they are amenable to Chinese interests”, thereby, enabling Beijing “to subdue the enemy without fighting.”


Chinese officials claim tianxia is a philosophy of political harmony needed to save humanity. According to Zhao Tingyang, “Chinese philosopher” and member of the Chinese Communist Academy of Social Sciences, “Today’s world is full of conflict, hostility and continuing clashes among civilizations. All indications suggest we are headed beyond failed states to a failed world order…Thus, I suggest another path, one rooted in the ancient Chinese concept of tianxia, which roughly translates to ‘all under heaven’ coexisting harmoniously…The world cannot achieve tianxia unless the physical, psychological and political realms all coincide. This truth is captured in the Confucian concept of ren, which literally means that being is only defined in relation to others, not by individual existence.”


Who determines when all realms coincide? Who defines “being”? The Chinese Communist Party. More specifically, President Xi.


And the meaning of “coexisting harmoniously”? That has been clearly described by President Xi. “Mr. Xi calls command of the security system the party’s ‘knife handle’, a menacing term taken from Mao. Officials in China’s law-and-order apparatus have been ordered to ‘drive the blade in’ and ‘scrape poison off the bone,’ setting aside personal loyalties to expose wayward colleagues. The model for this ‘education and rectification’ program, leaders have told them, should be Mao Zedong’s drive of the 1940s, which cemented his dominance over the party from a base in the city of Yan’an…’Root out the harmful members of the herd,’ Chen Yixin, a chief enforcer of the campaign, said at a kickoff meeting last month. ‘Root out ‘two-faced people’ who are disloyal and dishonest to the party.’”


In his article, Mr. Zhao wrote: “Tianxia thus defines the concept of ‘the political’ as the art of co-existing through transforming hostility into hospitality”.


On January 9, 2021, The Guardian reported the reality of tianxia. “You know those horrific mass detention camps in China? Turns out we were all completely wrong about them. The Chinese government isn’t oppressing its Muslim minority population, it’s simply rounded up over a million Uighurs in order to open their minds. It’s not forcibly sterilizing Uighur women, it’s just teaching them feminist theory…An Associated Press investigation last year found that the state of Xinjiang ‘regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousand’. If ethnic minorities have too many children they’re threatened with internment...”


For China, the embodiment of Mr. Zhao’s “harmony and hospitality” is the surveillance state. “China is the quintessential surveillance state: cameras perch on every street corner and bots monitor every corner of the internet...Facial recognition systems identify those captured on camera, instantly recording their ethnicity and party membership. The state wastes no opportunity to gather biometric data, weaponizing it against Uyghurs and others suspected of disloyalty…At the cutting edge, Chinese officials are testing artificial intelligence-powered analytics, which purport to predict unrest before it occurs.”


Establishing a surveillance state was a precondition before tianxia could be adapted to Beijing’s foreign policy.


China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, wrote in Study Times, “the official paper of the Central Party School that trains officials”, China’s President Xi’s “diplomatic thought…innovates upon and transcends the past 300 years of traditional Western international relations theory,” That 300 year tradition is the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, by which all states, big or small, weak or strong, are recognized as equal sovereign actors in the international arena. It is to be “transcended” by a new world order, tianxia, that “conforms to Chinese values, and…is amenable to Chinese interests”.


China’s foreign policy, therefore, focuses on financial investments in exchange for political gain; restructuring the standards of world commerce to change the balance of power in its favor politics.


“In the past four years, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama have each switched their recognition from Taiwan to China. Gaining these kinds of alliances in Latin America offers Beijing invaluable votes at the U.N. and backing for Chinese appointees to multinational institutions. It also empowers China to embed standard-setting technology companies like Huawei, ZTE, Dahua and Hikvision–all sanctioned by the U.S.–in regional infrastructure, allowing Beijing to dictate the rules of commerce for a generation.”


The international order requires China to interact with other countries as equal sovereigns. Tianxia as “harmony” supplants “sovereignty”. Or the sovereignty of other countries which as Mr. Zhao wrote is an obstacle to world peace as “each player [other than China] seeks to maximize his or her own self-interest.”


What tianxia means internationally is creation of “strategic support states…insuring China has the ability and resources to guide the actions of the country so that they fit into [China’s] strategic needs’”


To accomplish this China’s foreign policy as tianxia employs three concepts:


  1. 1.geo-politics - “how political power is reinforced or undermined by geographical arrangements (boundaries, coalitions, spatial networks, natural resources, etc.).”


  1. 2.geo-strategy - securing access to certain trade routes, strategic bottlenecks, rivers, islands and seas. It requires an extensive military presence, normally coterminous with the opening of overseas military stations and the building of warships capable of deep oceanic power projection. It also requires a network of alliances with other great powers who share one's aims or with smaller ‘lynchpin states’ that are located in the regions one deems important.”


  1. 3.geo-economics - “economic tools…trade policy, investment policy, economic and financial sanctions, financial and monetary policy, energy and commodities, aid and cyber…to project power.”


The purpose is to achieve three goals: preserve the power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), preserve the territorial integrity of the Chinese state, and elevate China to world dominance, economically, technologically, politically, and militarily.  


Success centers on three distinct, but interconnected initiatives each having a military component - 1) the Belt Road Initiative, 2) the “Made in China 2025” campaign, and 3) the campaign to have China the leader in artificial technology by 2030.


Launched in 2013, the immediate goal of BRI is to remove the threat posed to China’s stability from excess industrial capacity by providing a “spatial fix” in overseas markets. In 2014, the year after the launch of BRI, He Yafei, vice minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council acknowledged both this concern and the geopolitical opportunity it afforded Beijing.


“The excess capacity has been caused by China’s fundamental economic readjustments against the global economy. With the ensuing knock-on effects of the global financial crisis manifesting in the economic stagnation of advanced nations, coupled with the slowdown in China’s domestic demand, industrial overcapacity, accumulated over several decades, has been brought into sharp relief … [and] has resulted in a steep drop in profits [and] the accumulation of debt and near bankruptcy for many companies. If left unchecked, it could lead to bad loans piling up for banks, harming the ecosystem, and bankruptcy for whole sectors of industries that would, in turn, affect the transformation of the [Chinese] growth model and the improvement of people’s livelihoods. It could even destabilise society. The Chinese government, guided by the principles laid out at the third plenum, has put forward guidelines for its resolution. The most important thing is to turn the challenge into an opportunity by ‘moving out’ this overcapacity on the basis of its development strategy abroad and foreign policy.”


Chinese banks are funding and Chinese companies are building infrastructures of roads, railroads, seaports, airports, gas and oil pipelines, power plants, 5G networks, and fiber optic cables to link the economies of 139 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa to China.


The geographic focus of BRI corresponds to Mackinder’s “World Island”, the “supercontinent” of Africa-Eurasia.


In his 1919 book, Democratic Ideals and Reality, Halford John Mackinder (1861-1947), father of geopolitics, wrote: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World”.


The “Heartland” is Eurasia. To rule Eurasia first dominate the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia. “The Eurasian Balkans,[former Soviet Central Asian republics] astride the inevitably emerging transportation network meant to link more directly Eurasia's richest and most industrious western and eastern extremities, are also geopolitically significant...But infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region....”


A state that can dominate the energy reserves and pipelines of former Soviet Central Asia and the Middle East can rule Eurasia and thereby command the world. “[T]o use a similar phrase to the one of Mackinder’s, who controls the export routes, controls the energy resources, who controls the energy resources, controls the Eurasian Heartland.”


Through the Belt Road Initiative, Beijing seeks hegemony over the pipelines and related land-sea transportation corridors. This can only succeed if China can “form physical, digital, and financial networks with new and existing markets in Central Asia and Europe” to replace Western existing trading standards with those favored by Beijing (tianxia).


For those countries that join BRI that is the cost of doing business with China. “Any country that becomes fully integrated with the Belt and Road, is expected to align itself with China on a wide range of political and economic standards. Among them, rules and principles ranging from internet governance to financial supervision, state aid and environmental standards.”


Beijing has already succeeded in changing the international framework on human rights. “The international community’s unwillingness and inability to hold China to account is driven by China’s growing economic dominance, especially as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) gains momentum, Beijing’s willingness to tolerate human rights abuses in other countries, and its moderately successful efforts to modify the international human rights regime to make it more accommodating of China’s actions…in June 2017, Greece blocked the unanimous adoption of a joint EU statement on human rights in China, while in March of the same year, Hungary prevented the EU from adding its name to a joint letter expressing concern about a report of lawyers in China being illegally detained and tortured. By coincidence, both Hungary and Greece have been recipients of large-scale Chinese investments over recent years.”


“Critics worry China could use ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ to extract strategic concessions…In 2011, China wrote off an undisclosed debt owed by Tajikistan in exchange for 1,158 sq km (447 sq miles) of disputed territory…There are some extreme cases where China lends into very high risk environments, and it would seem that the motivation is something different. In these situations the leverage China has as lender is used for purposes unrelated to the original loan,’ said Scott Morris, one of the authors of the Washington Centre for Global Development report.” Confirming this suspicion, Wang Yiwei of Renmin University, Beijing, explained “a fundamental misreading of the plan abroad is an assumption that it’s supposed to be profitable.’


While Beijing officially denies it seeks global hegemony, in domestic discourse this goal is openly acknowledged.“[R]esearch from unofficial PRC state- and CCP-affiliated publications shows that Chinese analysts believe developing the BRI and achieving Chinese security are intimately linked. In fact, Chinese analysts—in both diplomatic and military publications—explicitly discuss using international assistance and the BRI as a pretext for pursuing China’s grand strategy. Many of these observers recognize that a network of maritime logistics hubs throughout the Indo-Pacific, including ports, has the potential to change the region’s strategic landscape, and several explicitly describe the role of infrastructure investment in Chinese grand strategy. Scholars from the PLAN’s Naval Research Institute do not speak on behalf of the state, but they do reflect the overarching ambitions found in China’s domestic discourse on this issue: ‘meticulously select locations, deploy discreetly, prioritize cooperation, and slowly infiltrate.’” [underline added]

The scope and purpose of BRI was detailed by Asia Society in 2020, “Across multiple domains, Beijing is amassing levers of influence to be able to operate in a more favorable strategic environment. Combined with China’s systematic push to expand its influence in multilateral rule-setting institutions and in some cases to create new ones, these roads seem to lead toward a regional or perhaps global ecosystem that would disadvantage the United States and other of China’s competitors.” [underlined added]


Beijing “is developing a network of ‘strategic strongpoints’ that can significantly raise the costs of any U.S. military intervention and lower the willingness of BRI host governments to offer access or assistance to the U.S.” As a Chinese naval officer stated, “Wherever there is Chinese business, warships will have a transportation support point.”


The dual civilian/military purpose of BRI strategically located maritime projects, dubbed China’s “string of pearls”, has enabled Beijing to encircle its rival India by sea as well as land; break the “island chains” set up by the US during the Cold War to contain Chinese expansion in the Pacific; militarize the South China Sea; and be in position to intercept the oil shipping lanes from the Persian Gulf to Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, and the oil shipping lanes from Red Sea through Suez Canal to Europe.


“During the Second World War, Nicholas Spykman, a professor of international relations at Yale University,…foresaw a struggle between the U.S. and China for control of what he called the Asian Rimland. ‘China’ Spykman wrote in 1942, ‘will be a continental power of huge dimensions in control of a large section of the littoral’ of the group of marginal seas that he called the ‘Asiatic Mediterranean.’ He described the Asiatic Mediterranean as ‘an insular world par excellence,’ which is composed of marginal seas such as the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea. Those marginal seas control China’s access to the Pacific Ocean and the sea lanes of communication connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He even noted the geopolitical similarity between the Straight of Malacca and the Panama Canal as strategic and commercial passageways and chokepoints in their respective geographic regions”


As 80 percent of China’s oil imports have to pass through the chokepoint of the Strait of Malacca, Beijing is aware of its vulnerability. The 2013 edition of China’s Academy of Military Science publication, The Science of Military Strategy, acknowledged: “Sea lines and channels have already become [China’s] economic and societal development ‘lifelines’ [which are neither] possessed by us, nor controlled by us; in case a maritime crisis or war were to happen, our maritime routes have the possibility of being cut off.”


One of the geostrategic aspects of BRI is to eliminate this vulnerability. To do so, Beijing is following Spykman’s “Rimland” theory. Spykman maintained by controlling the rimland of Eurasia, its shipping lanes, strategic straits and ports, and insular “seas”, not its heartland as Mackinder had contended, one state could dominate the countries of Eurasia and from there subjugate the rest of the world.


In 2015, China’s white paper on military strategy stated: “The traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests.”


That same year, President Xi announced the “Made in China 2025”. MERICS (Mercator Institute for China Studies) reported “China strives for market leadership in main growth areas for a large number of industrial countries. Information technology, computerised machines, robots, energy-saving vehicles, medical devices as well as high-tech equipment for aerospace technology, maritime and rail transport are in the focus of the major industrial revamp called "Made in China 2025." Under the plan “the domestic market share of Chinese suppliers for ‘basic core components and important basic materials’ is intended to increase to 70 per cent by 2025.”

These plans are ”not just to dominate the domestic market in China, but actually to be dominant in the world…[and] may veer dangerously close to violating World Trade Organisation rules. For instance, the policy features self-sufficiency quotas in certain hi-tech components, which would make it unnecessary for China to trade with other nations to gain access to that technology. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), this would be a nightmare for countries like South Korea and Germany, since 
hi-tech exports are so central to their economies.” Disrupting the economies of South Korea and Germany would be a geo-strategic objective. Eliminate rivals and take over their share of a market.


China’s “Made in China 2025” plan consists of three elements which Dr. Edward Luttwak terms “geo-economics” – [1] “investment capital for industry provided or guided by the state is the equivalent of firepower; [2] product development subsidized by the state is the equivalent of weapon innovation; and, [3] market penetration supported by the state, replaces military bases and garrisons on foreign soil as well as diplomatic influence”.


Such geo-economics tactics include:


  1. 1.Restricting the operations of foreign businesses in China.


“Non-China (PRC) companies are prejudiced and unfairly targeted inside of the PRC's booming AI market, which not only denies them revenue inside of the PRC but fosters domestic PRC giants that can then unfairly compete around the world. One of China's largest AI providers, Megvii, disclosed in its IPO filing that: Foreign-owned entities are prohibited or disadvantaged in the relevant City IoT project bidding process in practice. In practice, when selecting service providers, many end users, as well as many direct customers (which are our system integrators) engaged by such end users to assist them in the supplier selection process, would set implicit requirements that the service provider must not have any foreign shareholder, or at least consider foreign ownership as a disadvantage in their decision making process. Some government agencies even explicitly set forth such requirements in their project bidding invitation documents.”


In other cases, foreign standards and practices are banned.


In 2012, the Chinese Communist China Daily announced:



“As such, even the biggest non-PRC companies such as Axis, Avigilon, Genetec, and Milestone have a negligible share of the PRC market…With AI becoming core to video surveillance in the next decade, this is shaping up to be a repeat of the 2010s, with huge PRC providers, benefiting from an unfairly protected home market, having far greater revenue and resources to undermine rivals throughout the rest of the world.


  1. 2.Requiring foreign businesses to transfer technology to Chinese business partners.


“Nearly one in five (or 19 percent) of American businesses in China say they have been directly asked to transfer technology to a Chinese partner, according to a 2017 survey by the U.S.-China Business Council. Sixty percent of those firms said they made the transfer only reluctantly. China also uses onerous administrative review and licensing processes ‘to force the disclosure of sensitive technical information’ according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.”


  1. 3.Buying companies to acquire advanced technology and trade secrets.


“Chinese companies are not just interested in strategic assets like natural resources. They want to [be] part of the global brand A-list, and they want to move way up the economic food chain, so that makes them buyers of life science tech, fashion brands and retail, logistics operations, and outside of the core economies, corporate banking, too.”


  1. 4.Engaging in espionage and technology theft.


All Chinese businesses serve as espionage agents for the Chinese Communist Party. Article 7 of the 2017 National Intelligence Law mandates “any organization or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work in accordance with the law.”


The FBI reported that in addition to extensive hacking in cyber-space, “China was aggressively exploiting US academic openness to steal technology, using ‘campus proxies’ and establishing 'institutes on our campuses’.”

According to Samuel Schlaefli in “China’s Rise as AI superpower”, “Virtually all the major Chinese tech companies have set up research laboratories in Silicon Valley. These include the tech giants Tencent (messaging), Baidu (search engine) and Alibaba (e-​commerce), all of whom are investing heavily in AI. The Chinese government provides targeted support to help companies establish themselves in Silicon Valley. Between 2014 and 2017, Chinese companies also invested over 13 billion dollars in the ICT industry in the US. Another new development is the increasing tendency for researchers who have studied at American universities or worked in Silicon Valley to head back to Beijing or Shanghai, tempted by lucrative offers from Chinese tech companies and universities.”


Then there is China’s theft of military technology and medical research. The director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, observed “China was placing particular priority on stealing US aircraft and electric vehicle technology… the theft of American trade secrets by China costs the United States ‘anywhere from $300bn to $600bn’ a year… According to CSIS, of 137 publicly reported instances of Chinese-linked espionage against the United States since 2000, 73% took place in the last decade. The CSIS data... shows that military and commercial technologies are the most common targets for theft. In the area of medical research, of 180 investigations into misuse of National Institutes of Health funds, diversion of research intellectual property and inappropriate sharing of confidential information, more than 90% of the cases have links to China, according to an NIH spokeswoman.”


This “misuse of National Institute of Health funds” included funding gain-of-function research on transmitting bat coronavirus to humans at the Wuhan Institute of Virology from 2014 to 2019.


“The U.S. government banned funding for the gain of function research in 2014 but the Wuhan Institute of Virology was still operating and conducting the controversial research using U.S. taxpayer dollars. This funding was funneled unscrutinized to the EcoHealth Alliance by the NIAID led by Fauci to propel Wuhan studies on bat coronaviruses and allowed NIAID to hide research that they said didn’t meet the standard for “gain of function” from the Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight Framework review board.


Fauci previously defended gain of function research in 2012 and said it might be worth it even if it caused a pandemic. ’In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?” Fauci wrote. “Scientists working in this field might say — as indeed I have said — that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks’”


The strategy “Made in China 2025” was subsequently expanded. The current campaign centers on China achieving global dominance in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030.


For China, AI is the “Holy Grail” of the surveillance state. As Yuval Noah Harari, historian and philosopher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote in his 2018 article, “Why Technology Favors Tyranny”, “The same technologies that might make billions of people economically irrelevant might also make them easier to monitor and control…AI makes it possible to process enormous amounts of information centrally…The main handicap of authoritarian regimes in the 20th century—the desire to concentrate all information and power in one place—may become their decisive advantage in the 21st century… AI is a tool and a weapon unlike any other that human beings have developed; it will almost certainly allow the already powerful to consolidate their power further.”


The objective for China is to achieve an effective monopoly in setting the standards, applications, and development of AI.


To rephrase Mackinder, “who sets the standards for AI controls the marketing of AI; who controls the marketing of AI controls the application of AI; who controls the application of AI controls the destiny of the world.”


In its 2019 analysis, “Mapping more of China’s tech giants: AI and surveillance”, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute noted “The CCP’s own policies and official statements make it clear that it perceives the expansion of Chinese technology companies as a crucial component of its wider project of ideological and geopolitical expansion, and that they are not purely commercial actors. The PRC’s suite of intelligence and security laws which can compel individuals and entities to participate in intelligence work, and the CCP committees embedded within the tech companies (Chinese media has reported Huawei has more than 300 for example) highlight the inextricable links between industry and the Chinese party-state.”


The 2020 article, “The Chinese approach to artificial intelligence: an analysis of policy, ethics, and regulation” in AI & Society reported on China’s development of AI as cyber warfare with the goal to achieve a strategic military advantage over the U.S. and to neutralize any potential threat from neighboring countries.


“…China considers investing in AI as an opportunity to make radical breakthroughs in military technologies and thus overtake the US…Since the late 1990s, the country has been following a policy of ‘shashoujian’ (杀手锏), which roughly translates as ‘trumpcard’ (Bruzdzinski 2004). Rather than directly competing with the US, China has sought to develop asymmetric capabilities, which could provide a critical advantage in warfare …The trump-card approach was echoed by the former Party Chairman, Jiang Zemin, who emphasised that technology should be the foremost focus of the military, especially the technology that the ‘enemy fears [the] most’ (Cheung et al. 2016). One area in which China has been developing these asymmetric tactics is cyber warfare, where capabilities have been developed for targeting the US military’s battle-critical networks if needed (Kania 2017a). Alongside this, evidence points to the persistent use of cyberattacks to collect scientific, technological and commercial intelligence (Inkster 2010). …China has also run cyber operations targeting US infrastructure and aiming at extracting commercial and scientific information as well as acquiring relevant intelligence against several countries, including Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, and the US.”


“The desire to leapfrog the US is echoed in statements from China’s political and military leadership. For instance, President Xi Jinping stated in 2017 that ‘under a situation of increasingly fierce international military competition, only the innovators win’ (Kania 2020, p. 2). …This sentiment is shared by Lieutenant General Liu Guozhi, deputy of the 19th National Congress and director of the Science and Technology Committee of the Central Military Commission, who stated in an interview that AI presented a rare opportunity for taking shortcuts to achieve innovation and surpass rivals (“AI military reform” 2017). In parallel, academics affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) highlight that AI will be used to predict battlefield situations and identify optimal approaches, facilitating ‘winning before the war’ (Li 2019). Some members of the PLA go further than this in anticipating a battlefield ‘singularity’, where AI outpaces human decision-making (Kania . Accessed 24 Apr 2019">2017a). These statements emphasise the belief, which is widespread throughout China’s military and defence circles, in the importance of utilising emergent technologies including AI to achieve a competitive military advantage.”


Therefore, China’s foreign policy is “the continuation of war by other means.” Each of the three campaigns launched by President Xi Jinjiang, BRI, “made in China 2025”, and world dominance in AI by 2030, have dual civilian/military applications. Through this duality China seeks to impose tianxia, Chinese hegemony, on the world as Beijing has already imposed it on Uighurs, Tibetans, and Hong Kong.


If the world allows tianxia to come to pass, then the words of George Orwell will become reality. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”


Joseph E Fallon is a Senior Research Associate of the U K Defence Forum and a frequent contributor at


This is an abridged version of an article for GeoPolitca magazine (which includes diagrams and full references)

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.