Common perceptions of China's military power owe as much to the Korean war as they do to cool analysis of force structure and offensive capability. Yet as the emerging economic superpower in Asia, China will play an ever-growing part in the future of that region and the world. At the dawn of a new millennium, the People's Liberation Army is undergoing fundamental change under a new national defence strategy which guides the PLA to meet the challenge of a changed security environment following the demise of the bipolar system. This strategy is China's response to the revolution in military affairs brought about by the profound impact of technological change. The Armed Forces of China presents the first integrated analysis of this far-reaching transition. It provides an up-to-date picture of the PLA's central command, its evolving force structure, the new weapons programs, and the changing nature and role of each of its four services. Making use of unprecedented PLA material, it reveals the dimensions of the contradictions confronting the Chinese military as it plays a key role in both the nation's internal politics and global ambitions.
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