Conclusion

Since the Party's 14th Congress in 1992, the PLA has increased its influence as a corporate interest in national politics. The final stage of political succession in China has elevated a number of military leaders to the core of the post-Deng leadership. This group of PLA leaders, led by Admiral Liu Huaqing and General Zhang Zhen, is well known for its advocacy of a powerful and professional army. It is they who have campaigned for a military that should be able to fight a high-tech war with any major power in the world. Thanks to the Gulf War and American pressure, since 1992 Liu and his colleagues in the CMC have convinced the Party leadership of what direction the PLA should move in the new century and achieved a consensus among the armed forces to adopt a new national defence strategy centred on preparation for high-tech warfare. Based on this strategic shift, the post-Deng military command has been successful in uniting the previously faction-ridden PLA, much as what Admiral Liu did to the navy in the early 1980s. The CMC of the 14th Central Party Committee has passed control of the PLA's destiny to a younger leadership of military professionals established in the 15th National Party Congress in September 1997. These new top generals are equally committed to the goal of transforming the PLA into a high-tech military power. With this trans-century military leadership in command, it can be expected that the PLA will press ahead with the concepts of forward defence and strategic deterrence. To accomplish this long- term objective the CMC will continue to remedy the doctrinal defects associated with the obsolete 'people's war' theory (both Mao's and Deng's versions), increase financial and material inputs in order to quicken hardware modernisation, and respond to security challenges with whatever means it considers appropriate, including military actions.

-227-

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The Armed Forces of China
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Armed Forces of Asia i
  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables, Figures and Maps viii
  • Preface ix
  • Glossary of Acronyms xi
  • Introduction xv
  • 1 - Embracing Revolution in Military Affairs 1
  • 2 - Positioning the Pla for a 21st-Century War 28
  • 3 - In Search of High-Tech Military Power 56
  • 4 - Sharpening the Nuclear Sword 85
  • 5 - The Build-Up of an Offensive Air Force 118
  • 6 - The Ambition for a Bluewater Navy 160
  • The Pla and Regional Security 201
  • Conclusion 227
  • Notes 238
  • Bibliography 262
  • Index 282
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