Accession Number:

ADA426673

Title:

The People's Liberation Army Looks to the Future

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2000-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

Western analysts have long known that Beijing is modernizing its armed forces indeed, the Peoples Liberation Army PLA is undergoing a transformation. Through innovation in doctrine, organization, and technology -- the fundamental ingredients of a so-called revolution in military affairs RMA -- China is pursuing a capability to allow the inferior to defeat the superior with an eye fixed on the year 2030. This is an ambitious effort to undertake but by no means unachievable. With the possible exception of the United States, China has analyzed the implications of RMA more than any other nation. Although the impact of modern weaponry was predicted by the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, the wake-up call for the Peoples Liberation Army came with the Persian Gulf War. Stunned by the near dominance of American systems, which bested Soviet and Chinese equipment in the air and on the ground, the Chinese scrambled to understand what had happened. In fact, Chinese analysts have been investigating high-tech warfare since the early 1980s as the Falklands, Becca Valley, and air strikes on Libya stimulated their interest. But their efforts did not gain support from the central government until more recently. China relearned the lessons of Desert Storm in the Taiwan Strait during 1996 when its forces did not perform well in bad weather, and U.S. naval forces operated at considerably longer distances with greater real-time data and effective military power. With the realization that they lagged at least a generation behind technologically, Beijing redoubled its efforts. Then, in 1999, NATO launched air strikes against Serbia, which once more demonstrated the gap between China and the West. American technology motivates Chinese research. This article reviews the PLAs technological priorities, emerging capabilities, and current and future concepts of war. 4 photographs

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE