Is the Chinese Military Weaker Than We Think?

Discussion in 'China' started by sorcerer, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Is the Chinese Military Weaker Than We Think?
    A new report highlights the unpreparedness of the Chinese military for modern conflict.

    Today, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) published an assessment on the weaknesses of the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). While the report, compiled by the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD), points out that “the PLA’s capabilities have improved dramatically,” it also notes “potentially serious weaknesses” that could “limit [the PLA's] ability to successfully conduct the information-centric, integrated joint operations Chinese military strategists see as required to fight and win future wars.”

    The authors divide Chinese military’s weaknesses into two broad categories: institutional and combat capabilities. Institutional problems arise from rampant corruption, outdated command structures, the quality of personnel, and lack of professionalism. The weakness in combat capabilities is due to “an incomplete military transformation,” which produced logistical weaknesses, insufficient strategic airlift capabilities, limited numbers of special-mission aircraft, and deficiencies in naval air defense and antisubmarine warfare. The paper also lists shortcomings in other domains such as space and cyberspace. In addition, China’s defense industry is also allegedly suffering from widespread corruption and is in the middle of a “transition from central planning to a more market-oriented system.”

    Based on the authors’ study of more than 300 Chinese-language articles, numerous books, and other military publications, the report notes that the PLA is aware of its own shortcomings. Many Chinese military writers have in the last few years pointed out that the PLA appears incapable of conducting information-centric, integrated joint operations, which are required to fight and win future ”local wars under informatized conditions.”

    The report is based on 16 assumptions by the authors, including that the preservation of the Communist Party is the state’s and military’s top priority; the PLA will continue to be dominant within the state structure; there will be no major change in the China-Russia relationship or Russia’s broad strategic orientation; and also no major technological surprises from the Chinese side that could upend the current military balance in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Why is the study of the PLA’s weaknesses important? The report points out four reasons:

    • First, assuming we can gain greater knowledge of what the PLA sees as its own shortcomings, this is likely to offer a useful guide to assessing the future direction of PLA modernization and reform.
    • Second, studying PLA weaknesses may inform the U.S. approach to forging a military-to-military relationship with China that advances U.S. interests and contributes to regional security and stability.
    • Third, understanding the PLA’s weaknesses, and its own assessment of them, can help to improve the ability of the United States and its allies and partners to deter China from using force or the threat of force to resolve disputes with its neighbors.
    • Fourth, if deterrence fails, knowing the PLA’s weaknesses could help devise strategies for countering Chinese use of force.

    The PLA weaknesses have been known to most analysts observing Chinese military trends. This report, however, constitutes the most updated publicly available military study on the subject and is worth reading in its entirety. It echoes George Orwell’s mantra: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
     
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  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I never underestimate the adversary.
     
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Firstly, and this is my opinion, this "RAND National Security Research Division" is run by people whose analyses are guided by a political wish-list, and not by military expertise.

    Secondly, whether PLA is weak or not, it is against India's interest to start a fight with PRC.
     
  6. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes Sir,
    But understanding weakness shows their vulnerability in diplomatic pissturing. (WHen it comes to China its not Posturing any more according to me)
    :)
     
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  7. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chinese military is a paper tiger. It is overblown by their own analysts and well paid Chinese interests in the west.

    Yes, I agree with "Ray", never under estimate your adversary.

    Another point, Chinese are better road builders than soldiers. Tibet has more four lane roads than people to use them.
     
  8. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    @sorcerer,
    With regard to your first post. Aren't the problems faced by PRC with red text are very much similar to what are faced by us.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  9. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Absolutely... but we never proclaim and pest the neighbors with our posturing. We accept our problems as such and work a way to fix it.

    There is difference between absolute power projection coupled with dynamics of diplomacy and the chinese mode of trade diplomacy with deceptive power projection.
    The article tries to analyze that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  10. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well the article pit China against US. So yea it's weak but against country such as vietnam etc. no. China still by far the top 10 military in the world
     
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    US invaded Vietnam, and lost.
    PRC invaded Vietnam, and lost.
    If PRC invades Vietnam today, it will lose.
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood Senior Member Senior Member

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    True, but PRC doesn't pits itself just against Vietnam, now does it? The list includes Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, India, Australia and to some extent Russia.
     
  13. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Then you are reading the wrong report.
    The potential war scenario between India and China is completely different to Sino-US conflict.
    It is just like a car driver trying to figure out how to drive a BMW by reading a Boeing 777 manual book.
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    A political loss--simply American public got tired of their sons blood.

    A propaganda loss. Chinese already told American and Russian that PLA would withdraw in one month even before the invasion started but Vietnamese just claim it as their own success.
    What was the result:
    the industries and defence line in 3 northern provinces of Vietnam were completely destroyed, which they were unable to rebuild in 20 years;
    death: 150,000 Vietnamese VS 30,000 Chinese

    No.
    30 years ago, Vietnam army did have a possibility to win: full of war experienced soldiers and officers, the world best equipment provided by US and Soviet. At the mean time, PLA just came out of 10 years chaos: lack of training, full of weapons designed 20 years ago. The only reason that PLA had done their job was their senior officers were far better than Vietnamese (PLA had Korean war experience while Vietnamese didn't).

    Today, their generals are still stuck to the type of war 30 years ago, not to mention their soldiers don't even have enough training and modern equipment to fight such a war again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  15. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nope they didn't lost just not worthy it anymore. By the end of vietnam war s.vietnam already lost. If prc or us fully mobilize Vietnam will lose. As far as scs plan has advantages against Vietnam. Why would prc invade Vietnam? Scs is about navy
     
  16. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    PRC was fully mobilized during the Korean War, and it ended in a stalemate.

    I did not say that if Vietnam invades PRC, Vietnam would win. I said if PRC invades Vietnam, PRC would lose. There is a difference.
     
  17. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    only Japan has creditable navy and political will to fight China. also india China disputes is not on China high priority both don't have much will to fight each other right now.
    the others vietnam/phillippine dont have naval power to stop china.
    S.korea is not in dispute with china, and their relationship is warmer betwee korea/japan relationship.
    Taiwan, well 5million mainland tourist going there every year, and all taiwan manufacture are in china, that tell you the likeability of hot war between these two.
    china upgrade its navy is mainly counter japan and potential US involvement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  18. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    korean war has allied force over 130 thousands, with US in lead, with superior fire power and better equipment compare to a country who just born, who basically was still guerrilla force.

    Today, china army is one of the largest, if china decide to fully moblized and invade vietnam no matter what, yes they will win. china is not interest invade vietnam though, if there is a war between china/vietnam/phillippine it will be air/navy, which china has considerable lead.
     
  19. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    We are speculating, and if PRC indeed invades Vietnam, lot of things could happen. The only way to find out is for PRC to actually invade Vietnam, and I don't want to find out that way.
     
  20. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    fair enough, i doubt they will invade anyway, they dont gain anything and will suffer alot casualties.
     
  21. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Whose talking about Indo-China conflict?
    What I said was the difference between diplomatic pissturing and hypothetical power projection. You are right..the example is China sitting inside a BMW and saying that its a 777 and trying to fly the BMW by reading a 777 manual, which offccourse is torrented.
     
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