Review of The Role of the Chinese Army, by John Gittings, Oxford University Press, London, 1967.

by Alice Langley Hsieh


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John Gittings analyzes the events of the years 1946-1965. Although his analysis tends to lack focus and to constitute a series of informative but not always related essays, Mr. Gittings nevertheless makes some interesting points--among them, the observation that the source of the Party's critical attitude toward the People's Liberation Army must be sought less in a declining interest in military modernization than in a shift in national priorities toward restoration of the economy and a growing disenchantment with the Soviet model. As Mr. Gittings briefly points out, the conflict between the need to construct a modernized army and the need to ensure that such an army preserves its revolutionary character has never been more clearly displayed than during the Cultural Revolution.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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