Understanding Chinese Military Strategic Thinking: The Message from the People's Liberation Army's Modernization and Weapons Acquisition Program
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The primary question of this thesis is Does the Peoples Liberation Armys PLA armament acquisition plan support their military strategy. The four subordinate questions are What is the PLAs military strategy What have they purchased from foreign sources What are they building domestically How is the strategy supported by PLAs armament acquisition plan There are many unclassified publications including the US DoD Annual Report to Congress, the Chinas Defense White Paper, research products from RAND corporation, and other academic papers and periodicals that relate to this topic. By analyzing the documents five key elements of the PLAs military strategy emerge 1 Sovereignty issues with Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan 2 South China Sea dispute with adjacent nations 3 Anti accessarea denial of US support to Asian allies, 4 Sustainable force projection beyond the second island chain and 5 Asymmetrical means including cyber, information, and space warfare. PLA has imported or co-produced many advanced military technologies from foreign sources. These technologies range from strategic to tactical. China has also invested vast amount of effort to develop their defense industries. They established the General Armament Department GAD in 1998 to oversee state-owned defense corporations and foreign weapons acquisition. China has ten major defense related corporations that are also managed by the GAD. The findings of this thesis assess that China is acquiring defense related assets both internationally and domestically that support its modernization and increased capability to not only defend its sovereign territory, but to begin to reach out regionally and globally with increased military capability. These acquisitions go beyond current defensive needs and a posture to deter potential regional threats and prerogatives.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics