The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military

The chapters presented in this volume demonstrate first, Chinese and PLA leaders have a strong sense of mission and concern for China's security and well-being. Second, the PLA is committed to the transformation in military affairs with Chinese characteristics. Third, the PLA is eager to learn from the U.S. military to expand and improve its operational capabilities. Finally, the PLA has made progress in its transformation and operational capabilities. For a long time, American leaders have been surprised by the PLA's advances. This volume (and many of the previous volumes from past PLA conferences) show that these advances did not come out of the blue. Although much of the learning and many of the improvements are still far from what is desired (from Chinese expectations and American critiques), and some of the learning has even created contradictions for the PLA, these persistent and diligent learning practices will eventually bring the PLA to a higher level of proficiency in its capabilities. The emergence of a much more sophisticated PLA in the coming years should not be a surprise. Originally published by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. Foreword by President George H.W. Bush