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Defeat, Not Merely Compete: China's View of Its Military Aerospace Goals and Requirements in Relation to the United States

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Technical Report

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RAND Corp Santa Monica United States

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Over the past two decades, the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army PLA has made rapid advances in building up new capabilities and operational concepts. Aerospace power has been a core feature of the PLAs rapid modernization. In particular, since 2004, the PLA Air ForcePLAAF has pursued a service strategy aimed at developing the capacity to simultaneously prosecute offensive and defensive integrated air and space operations , .During this period, Chinese military authors have written about transforming the PLAAF into what they refer to as a strategic air force, one that can move beyond its traditional focus on air defense of Chinese territory and directly support national policy objectives and achieve a wide range of strategic goals.1 One recent study of Chinese military aerospace writings found that many PLA authors specifically cite the U.S. Air Force USAF as a model for at least some aspects of the PLAAFs transformation into a strategic air force.2

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  • Military Forces and Organizations

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