The Chinese Armed Forces in the 21st Century

The Chinese Armed Forces in the 21st Century

The Chinese Armed Forces in the 21st Century

The Chinese Armed Forces in the 21st Century

Excerpt

The debate about China and Taiwan is re-emerging in the United States. The accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, of course, put on the front burner the way that nationalistic fervor has grown in China, at least some of it as a result of manipulation by the Communist Party. President Lee Teng-hui's comments about state-to-state relations between Taiwan and the mainland raised the temperature of relations across the strait and among the three concerned parties (China, the United States, and Taiwan). China threatened, China postured, and China ran political campaigns against the United States and Lee. But the questions of military capability, security policy, and intent are rarely treated seriously. This book is a serious look at the armed forces of China and how they will evolve.

The chapters in this volume were developed from papers prepared for the eighth in a series of conferences on the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The people at the conferences were recognized experts on armed forces and security matters in China and drawn from academe, government, the military, and policy think tanks. Each chapter's author was challenged to analyze some aspect of the Chinese armed forces as they moved into the next century. The goal was to contribute a realistic view of how domestic and international pressures would shape both Beijing's and Taipei's security environment. Over a 2-day period at Wye Plantation, Maryland, each paper was discussed and criticized by a wider body of participants and then revised for publication. Not surprisingly, when a body of experts of such high caliber is assembled and dialogue flows freely, comments by participants at the conference led to the development of two more papers. The first, addressing strategic geography from Michael McDevitt . . .

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