China's Commercial Technology

Implications for Future Military Capabilities

by Roger Cliff

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This research brief describes work documented in The Military Potential of China's Commercial Technology (MR-1292-AF).

Excerpt: If China's economy continues to grow as expected over the next 20 years, by 2020 it will surpass that of the United States in terms of purchasing power. Such growth would in theory provide China with the economic base to field a military comparable to that of the United States. But in order to become a true military superpower, China would need to make major improvements in the technological capabilities of its defense industries. One potential source of such improvement could lie in China's civilian industries, many of which currently enjoy unprecedented levels of foreign technology and investment.

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