The book “Unrestricted Warfare” was published by the PLA press in 1999 and outlines the Chinese strategy to counter U.S. power. The doctrine clearly states that a direct kinetic conflict would be less effective than irregular warfare. An introduction to the English version (translated by CIA and published in Panama) lists Financial Warfare as the first and foremost mechanism to attack the United States:
“‘Financial warfare (in which a country is subjected without a drop of blood being spilled)’ means entering and subverting banking and stock markets and manipulating the value of a targeted currency.”
There should be zero doubt that the Chinese have this capability right now both through conventional and cyber means. The frightening thing is that the PLA has, in itself, more than sufficient resources to accomplish this financial warfare. There may even be emerging evidence that such capabilities have been effectively tested. Frighteningly, the Chinese are not alone in this capability. Most major nations and a variety of Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Funds have the capacity including those under Shariah Finance as well as jihadist groups. There is even evidence that jihadists have thoroughly studied the action plan of Unrestricted Warfare including bin Laden, who has publicly declared that hitting “the economic structure” is the best means to defeat the United States.