Edited by
Larry M. Wortzel

December 1999

The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


The debate about China and Taiwan is raging in the United States. The accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, of course, put on the front burner the way that nationalistic fervor has grown in China, some of it as a result of manipulation by the Communist Party. President Lee Teng-hui's comments about state-to-state relations between Taiwan and the mainland raised the temperature of relations across the strait and among the three states (China, the United States and Taiwan). China threatened, China blustered, and China ran political campaigns against the U.S. and Lee. But the questions of military capability, security policy and intent are rarely treated seriously. This book is a serious look at the armed forces of China and how they will evolve.

The chapters in this volume were developed from papers prepared for the eighth in a series of conferences on the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The people at the conferences were recognized experts on armed forces and security matters in China drawn from academe, government, the military, and policy think tanks. Each chapter author was challenged to envision some aspect of the Chinese armed forces into the next century. The goal was to paint a realistic view of how domestic and international pressures would shape both Beijing's and Taipei's security environment. Over a 2-day period at Wye Plantation, Maryland, each paper was discussed and criticized by a wider body of participants and then revised for publication.

Our Congress has recognized the need to further explore Chinese grand strategy, security strategy, military strategy, and operational concepts for the next 20 years, and this book is offered as a means to do so.

                        DOUGLAS C. LOVELACE, JR.
                        Interim Director
                        Strategic Studies Institute

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Strategic Studies Institute
United States Army War College
Carlisle Barracks

This page last updated on 19 Jan 2000.