Defense Modernization in the People's Republic of China

by Jonathan D. Pollack


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback31 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Briefly reviews the strategies Chinese decisionmakers have used since 1949 to modernize their defense establishment. The study then considers recent efforts to amend previous strategies in military research, development, and production, most notably through possible purchases of advanced foreign military technology. Rapid and extensive purchase of weaponry abroad is not a worthwhile security option for the People's Republic of China (PRC). The available budgetary and manpower resources are insufficient, and such an approach would not significantly enhance Chinese security over the short run. Thus, any major improvement in the PRC's military capabilities will occur only after a prolonged process of economic development, industrial growth, and sustained technological absorption. An effective U.S. policy framework for technology transfer to the PRC must pay careful heed to the long-term manpower and budgetary constraints that will continue to affect the modernization of China's armed forces.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.