China's Strategic Modernization: Implications for the United States

By Siow, Terry M. M. | Military Review, July/August 2001 | Go to article overview

China's Strategic Modernization: Implications for the United States


Siow, Terry M. M., Military Review


CHINA'S STRATEGIC MODERNIZATION: Implications for the United States, Mark A. Stokes, Strategic Studies Institute, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999, 229 pages, out of print.

Credit Mark A. Stokes for providing an alternative view to the conventional portrayal of the People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army (PLA) as a backward continental force. Stokes posits that the PLA is poised to make significant progress in its long-range precision strike capabilities and aerospace defense, primarily backed by the quest for information dominance. The United States must not underestimate China's ability to make revolutionary breakthroughs in areas key to achieving its goals.

Stokes supports his thesis with substantive evidence and sound reasoning. His extensive investigation traces China's technological developments in indigenous defense industries that point toward an aggressive quest for information dominance, credible long-range precision strike capabilities and aerospace defense.

Stokes argues that China's quest for strategic modernization is driven by its emerging doctrine, which emphasizes strategic attack against the most critical enemy targets. Much of this has been influenced by China's "Gulf War Syndrome" caused by the enormous US success, at least at operational and tactical levels, which has awakened Chinese leaders to the preeminence of air power, long-- range precision strike and information-based warfare. …

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