Capability and intention : an analysis of the modernization of the PLA
Petrie, Effie R.
Callahan, Mary P.
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In the wake of the Cold War, U.S. government officials and China analysts began to discuss the possibility of an emerging 'China threat.' This thesis assesses China's military modernization program in order to determine its capability and primary intent. Four aspects of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) are examined: the history of military modernization, PLA economic activities, the PLA's modernization strategy and force utilization. Final analysis indicates that China's military modernization program is intended primarily to enhance domestic stability and economic growth and not to seek regional hegemony by force. However, there are several points of contention that may spur China to military action. Two possible areas of future conflict are Taiwan and the South China Sea. I maintain that China will probably refrain from aggression in these areas unless it feels its interests are endangered. It does not have the will or the capability to seek conflict in the region.
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