China Military Power

China Military Power
China Military Power: Modernizing a Force To Fight and Win
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Should you be engaged in the assessment of world military powers? This work about the Chinese Military may be of considerable interest to you. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency’s China Military Power succinctly demonstrates the importance of this work that assesses the impact on the world’s military balance when the nation with the world’s largest population becomes a military with the objective of “Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win”.

The Chinese Army of today is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with as a global military super power. The “People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by name, began to come into its own during 1978 during China’s then leader Deng Xiaoping’s fourth “modernization, slowly at first being underfunded, then as China’s economic base has grown into a global force, second only to the U.S., the emphasis turned from a defensive to a much more offensive agenda.

The National Military Overview segment found on page seven provides a quick summary of the combat ready-force it has become today:

  • “Services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force.”
  • “Personnel: Approximately 2 million in regular forces.”
  • “Recruit base: Conscription, some volunteer”.
  • “Equipment profile: Primarily domestic systems heavily influenced by technology derived from other countries; modern weaponry in each service; some advanced weaponry.”
  • “Core strength: Long-range precision strike, information warfare, nuclear retaliatory capability.”
  • “Developing strengths: Maritime power projection, special operations.”
  • “Key vulnerabilities: Logistics, rigid command structure, joint warfare.”

The title is also complete with extensive photography, maps and graphs to provide a complete picture of the force it has become in 2019.

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Table of Contents

Introduction/Historical Overview 1

1978–Present: China’s Military Rise 2

National Military Overview  7

Threat Perceptions 7

National Security Strategy 12

The PLA’s Role in National Security 13

Military Leadership 13

Stability Issues 17

External Defense Relations 19

Defense Budget 20

Military Doctrine and Strategy  23

Perceptions of Modern Conflict 24

National Military Command and Control  25

Core Elements of Command and Control Reform 25

Modernizing Joint Command and Control 27

Regional and Global Operations 28

Core Chinese Military Capabilities 31

Power Projection and Expeditionary Operations 33

Nuclear Forces and Weapons 36

Biological and Chemical Warfare 39

Space/Counterspace 40

Satellites 41

Counterspace 43

Human Spaceflight and Space-Exploration Probes 43

Space Launch  44

Cyberspace 45

Denial and Deception 46

Logistics and Defense-Industrial Modernization 47

Logistics 47

Defense-Industrial Base 48

Underground Facilities 50

Missions Other Than War 50

Outlook: Developing a Robust Force 52



APPENDIX C: PLA Air Force 83

APPENDIX D: PLA Rocket Force 91

APPENDIX E: PLA Strategic Support Force 97

APPENDIX F: Chinese Intelligence Services 99

APPENDIX G: Military Resources, Infrastructure, and Logistics 101

APPENDIX H: Defense Industry 105

APPENDIX I: Arms Sales 107

APPENDIX J: Glossary of Acronyms 109


Officals in the Department of Defense (DOD), other governmental agencies, Members of Congress, faculty and students of the National Defense University, associates of the Defense Intelligenc Agency, and other components of the DOD professional military education system, American and international analysts of Chinese military affairs and orgaization would be interested in this publication.

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  • China
  • Military Power
  • Modernizing a Force To Fight and Win
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