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EFSAS Study Paper: Trajectories of Chinese Military Modernization


Modernizing the PLA has been an explicit political objective since the late 1970s that was accelerated in the 1990s. This ambition is the result of three events/periods (the Sino-Vietnamese War, the First Gulf War, and the Taiwan Straits Crisis) that highlighted that the PLA’s mass-mobilization structure, a result of the Civil War, was insufficiently suited for fighting modern wars that relied on increasingly sophisticated technologies and the effective jointness of service branches. Military modernization programs would consequently seek to prepare the PLA for increasingly sophisticated military operations.