China's Military Faces the Future

China's Military Faces the Future

China's Military Faces the Future

China's Military Faces the Future

Synopsis

This is the most up-to-date assessment of all aspects of the People's Liberation Army. Leading specialists on the Chinese military cover military leadership, defense doctrine and military readiness, preparations for high-tech warfare, military expenditure, military logistics, the scientific and technological base for defense procurement, and China's security concerns in Northeast Asia.

Excerpt

Richard D. Fisher, Jr.

As it has done several time in the past century, China is again turning to foreign technology sources to spur its latest efforts to modernize its armed forces. This chapter, in two parts, seeks to analyze the impact--on the PLA and on the United States--of China's recent trend in foreign arms acquisitions. The first part of this paper will be a brief examination of the issues surrounding China's access to foreign military technology in the current period with a focus on modernization trends. China appears to be taking advantage of unique historical circumstances, primarily availability of foreign technology combined with its growing wealth, to leap into current and next-generation capabilities for the PLA. For example, foreign military technologies China is acquiring may help to develop a "reconnaissance-strike complex" that emphasizes space sensors and accurate long-range missile systems. Conventional air and naval forces, and more recently ground forces, are receiving considerable new technology from foreign sources. There are also dynamics propelling the arms sellers to include a breakdown of a threat consensus and a sharp need to support declining arms industries.

For Washington, China's latest foreign military acquisitions do not occur in a vacuum. PLA modernization is taking place at a time when China's challenge to democratic Taiwan, its claims in the South China Sea, and its objections to American alliances in Asia loom large. The weapons and technologies China acquires from abroad could provide China's leadership with greater military options to force an eventual unification with Taiwan, secure claims in the South China Sea, or diminish American leadership in Asia. There are also potential blowbacks to . . .

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