PLA Reforms and Chinas Nuclear Forces
National Defense University Washington United States
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China is in the midst of sweeping military reforms that will affect the force structure, administration, and command and control mechanisms of the Peoples Liberation Army PLA. The reforms have the dual goals of tightening political control and improving the militarys ability to conduct joint operations. Among the major steps is the creation of the new PLA Rocket Force, which replaced the former Second Artillery in controlling Chinas nuclear forces and land-based ballistic and cruise missiles. Despite much attention paid to its new name and higher organizational status, the Rocket Force appears to be the service least affected by the reforms.