China: The Power of Military Organization

Jan 25, 2016 | 09:30 GMT

Taking a cue from the United States, China is hoping military reorganization will be the key to increasing its capabilities.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Forecast Highlights

  • Organizational reforms will improve China's ability to conduct joint military operations.
  • China will model its reorganization after the U.S. military, but, as U.S. history proves, the process will be long and difficult.
  • China's ground forces, currently the service branch with the most power and authority, will be the biggest impediment to any reforms.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has long known it needs to restructure if it hopes to compete with the world's most advanced militaries. As China's prominence has risen, so too has its global interests, creating the need to develop the power-projection capabilities of its historically under-represented navy and air force. Moreover, growing maritime competition with the United States and Japan has emphasized the need for increased capability to conduct seamless joint operations. Though much of the attention on China's military reform is on weapons acquisitions, the true determinant of its success will be organizational reforms....

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