Roy D. Kamphausen



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The 27th annual People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Conference—“The People in the PLA” 2.0—revisited a theme first explored at the 2006 conference but understudied since. This volume examines how the structure, education, training, and recruitment of PLA personnel have changed in the last decade and in the Xi Jinping era.

Structural changes in the PLA have centered around two poles: improving the warfighting readiness of the PLA and strengthening Communist Party of China (CPC) control of the PLA. Reforms to the political work system, the evolution of the Second Artillery into the Rocket Force, and expansion of the PLA’s foreign-based force posture all indicate that the PLA is accelerating its drive to become a world-class military.

To succeed in future “informatized” wars, the PLA recognizes it must improve its members’ education level. It seeks to leverage better China’s civilian education system while also addressing legacy issues that frustrate professional military education and the care of its veterans. The PLA is also reforming joint education and seeking insight from its exchanges and interactions with other nations’ militaries. The revamping of its academic institutions to support better its most technical and advanced entities for network warfare and other operations is indicative of the PLA’s fast-paced evolution.



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China; People’s Liberation Army; PLA; Communist Party of China; Second Artillery; Rocket Force; military education; recruitment; Xi Jinping era


Chinese Studies | Defense and Security Studies | International Relations | Military and Veterans Studies | Other Political Science | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Peace and Conflict Studies | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Public Policy

The People of the PLA 2.0