The People’s Liberation Army in the Information Age
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A July 1998 conference, held in San Diego, California, brought together Chinese military experts to discuss the non-hardware side of the People’s Liberation Army’s modernization. The result is a comprehensive examination of the critical software side, covering topics as diverse as civil-military relations, professionalism, logistics, training, doctrine, systems integration, and force structure. The 13 chapters present a picture of a PLA that has learned much about the right software for successful combat performance but is facing variable success in implementing the necessary changes throughout the system. The Chinese military’s progress in the areas discussed in the papers will ultimately determine whether the PLA will transform itself into a peer competitor with the United States in the 21st century or remain merely a regional military power. The conference was sponsored jointly by the RAND Center for Asia-Pacific Policy and the Taiwan-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies.
Table of Contents
PLA Studies Today: A Maturing Field
The Military and China’s New Politics: Trends and Counter-Trends
PLA Rapid Reaction Forces: Concept, Training, and Preliminary Assessment
“COSTIND is Dead, Long Live COSTIND! Restructuring China’s Defense Scientific, Technical, and Industrial Sector”
PLA Air Force Logistics and Maintenance: What has Changed?
China’s National Military Strategy
The PLA’s Evolving Campaign Doctrine and Strategies
The PLA and Information Warfare
China’s Defense Industries: A New Course?
Systems Integration in China’s People’s Liberation Army
The PLA and the Telecommunications Industry in China
A New PLA Force Structure
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This research was conducted within RAND’s Project AIR FORCE.
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