chapter  10
TilE ROLE OF TilE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY
ByDennis Woodward
Pages 19

China's economic reform policies have had military modernization as one of their major goals. At the same time, however, a change in Chinese views concerning the strategic threats faced has also meant that military modernization has been seen as a less pressing task than that of other sectors. As a consequence defence expenditure has repeatedly declined as a percentage of the national budget. Meanwhile, the strategic doctrine of 'people's war' has been deemed inappropriate for 'modern conditions' and modified. Without the concomitant upgrading of military hardware, the PLA thus remains locked in a process of transition. Its ranks have been reduced by approximately one million, the number of military regions has been cut, many of its senior leaders have retired and there has been a shift to emphasizing educational standards and military training.