ThinkChina Analysis: The Chinese Military in Preparation for War through Force Transformation – University of Copenhagen

> ThinkChina Publications > ThinkChina Analysis > ThinkChina Analysis: T...

28 June 2019

ThinkChina Analysis: The Chinese Military in Preparation for War through Force Transformation

Since Trump took office, the bilateral relationship between the US and China has worsened, both economically and militarily. With the US repeatedly pressuring China in their region, especially in the South China Sea, Xi Jinping has called upon the PLA to accelerate preparation for war through quickened military transformation, enlarged financial inputs in military R&D and hardened combat training. In this paper, Prof You Ji closely examines the condition of the Chinese army, air force, and navy as well as the general attitude in China towards a possible military confrontation with the US. The analysis explores the PLA’s generational inferiority to US forces, and proposes how this could lead the PLA to pursue an asymmetrical AD/2A type of warfare, with the objective of reducing the overwhelming US military superiority to one that is relative, and thereby eliminating the risk of direct confrontation, since the US, by Chinese calculus, will not strike unless it enjoys overwhelming superiority.

Key takeaways:

  • In spite of reaching technical agreements to discipline military encounters, the US-China relationship remains troublesome, and confrontation might be on the way.
  • The Chinese army is far inferior to that of the US, and transformation through mechanization by 2020 and complete modernization by 2035 is underway. 
  • By narrowing the generational gap in weaponry between the US and China, the US overwhelming superiority will be reduced to one that is relative.
  • A relative military relationship with the US will ensure that the US does not strike.

Download and read here