Chinese Military Modernization: Transitioning from People's War to Limited War
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Peoples Liberation Army PLA, the collective term for The Peoples Republic of Chinas PRCs armed, air, naval and strategic rocket forces, is making significant strides toward modernizing its conventional armed forces and creating a credible power projection capability. There have been gradual improvements in the PLA as a result of dramatic shifts in leadership and growing professionalism of the PLA, changes in operational doctrine and concepts, reduction and restructuring of forces and military regions, and improvement efforts aimed at command and control. With the virtual removal of the threat of invasion on the Sino-Soviet border after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the belief that the near term will hold no major andor nuclear wars, China feels it can afford to pursue a slow, but steady, pace of improvements in the PLA. It is Chinas hope that by the middle of the 21st century the PRCs defense capabilities will be nearer to advanced world standards. To achieve this aim, it hopes to develop a distinctly Chinese-style doctrine expected to match the U.S. Air Land Baffle despite the United States superior technology. If Beijing continues to enjoy economic success, it will be translated into improvements in the military sphere and, short of major political and economic reversals, the Chinese will play an increasingly significant role in the interplay of regional and international politics. Although it is believed China has limited potential to become a peer competitor of the United States within the next couple of decades, its relative power in Asia and globally will grow sharply during this period. Already it has developed a modest power projection capability and is intent upon expanding it. Success even if only partial, in pursuing advanced military technology and organizing concepts could enhance the speed and impact of Chinas rise in power.
- Military Forces and Organizations