China President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )
The two generals are calling for policy re-evaluation and warned against 'serious mistakes'
It seems all is not well in China as President Xi Jinping is facing a challenge from two People's Liberation Army (PLA) hawks.
They have written about their disappointment with Xi's aggressive foreign policy.
The two generals are calling for policy re-evaluation and warned against "serious mistakes".
One of these voices in retired Major General Qiao Liang, a hawkish voice in China.
Qiao has written a book called "Unrestricted Warfare", which had suggestions on how China could become a global superpower.
The book also talks about exporting a virus, creating a pandemic.
Once again Qiao has written and his latest message is to President Xi that: don't treat the pandemic as an opportunity to take back Taiwan by force.
"China's ultimate goal is not the reunification of Taiwan, but to achieve the dream of national rejuvenation so that all 1.4 billion Chinese can have a good life. Could it be achieved by taking Taiwan back? Of course, not," he said in an interview on Monday.
What he spoke afterwards is equally interesting.
Even Qiao agreed on what we were saying for weeks that in case of a war, China will not be able to mobilise its troops.
"If Beijing wants to take Taiwan back by force, it will need to mobilise all its resources and power to do this...You shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket. It's too costly," he said.
Qiao is a retired major general and knows PLA's capacity.
He also posted a message on WeChat, where he said a move by the PLA to take Taiwan by force may trigger the US to declare war against Beijing.
He said China maritime links at the South China Sea may be cut-off, adding sanctions from other Western countries could hit Beijing's economic development.
Another prominent hawk, Dai Xi, a PLA General, also warns China on similar lines.
In a recently-written article, called: Four unexpected things and ten new understandings about the United States, Dai advises Beijing to take stock of its relative weakness vis-a-vis Washington.
"Remember, the 30 billion in tariffs imposed on you will bring an effect of 60 billion, 90 billion, or more. This is where imperial America is truly powerful. We must be rational, instead of angry and fight wisely," Dai wrote.
The PLA general claims that China's confrontation with the US has won it no friends.
This is a correct argument as several countries across continents are uniting against China.
Even China's chequebook diplomacy has failed in buying supporters.
Even Dai hints at this in a more subtle way.
"China has provided assistance to so many countries...benefiting them in so many ways...but at this critical moment, none of them has taken any unification action with China," he further wrote.
The point is, China's most prominent hawks know that their country is headed towards a downhill, and they are not just discussing this behind closed doors, but also writing about it in as many words possible.
Dai substantiates this point, writing "not a single country has stood out expressing sympathy and support for China".
Of course, the article is written in Mandarin, but the essence of it has not been lost in the translation.
What will happen if these Chinese hawks decide to put their words into action as they are still in a position to shape the opinion of the army.
If that happens, Xi's political survival will not be going to be easy.