This chapter employs the analytical tools offered by the literature on Chinese civil–military relations (CMR) to elucidate the historical experiences of the interaction between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its military with emphasis on policy relevance. It observes that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been largely subservient to its political master but, paradoxically, it is the party that provides space and creates the opportunities for military intervention, which, in Finer's lexicon, ranges from exercising political influence to supplanting the civilian government. The chapter examines how the PLA since the Red Army days has built up its capacity to intervene in politics, the party's dependence on the military, as well as its attempts to use it as a political tool while keeping it under control. Professionalization was rolled back as evidenced by the abolition of military ranks as a symbol of egalitarianism and challenging established authority, putting political education above military training, and the closure of many military academies.