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The Lessons of History: The Chinese people's Liberation Army at 75

The Lessons of History: The Chinese people's Liberation Army at 75 - Cover

Edited by Ms. Laurie Burkitt, Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.

July 2003

462 Pages

Brief Synopsis

With the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PLA) celebrating its 75th anniversary on August 1, 2002, it only seemed appropriate and timely to take stock of the world's largest military. The PLA has officially been in existence for three-quarters of a century, and its history is one filled with turmoil and warfare. One weekend in the September 2002, a group of PLA specialists gathered at Carlisle Barracks, the home of the U.S. Army War College, to assess what lessons China's soldiers had drawn from the history of their own armed forces.

This volume constitutes the final product of months of extensive research by the individual authors and hours of intense discussion at the 3-day conference by approximately 50 participants. The conference was sponsored jointly by the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the U.S. Army War College.


Ambassador James R. Lilley

Part I: Overview.
1. Introduction: The Lesson Learned by China’s Soldiers
Laurie Burkitt, Andrew Scobell, and Larry M. Wortzel

2. China’s Defense Establishment: The Hard Lessons of Incomplete Modernization
Paul H. B. Godwin

Part II: The Services
3. PLA Ground Forces Lessons Learned: Experience and Theory
Dennis J. Blasko.

4. PLA Air Force, 1949-2002: Overview and Lessons Learned
Kenneth W. Allen

5. The People’s Liberation Army Navy after Half a Century: Lessons Learned in Beijing
Bernard D. Cole

6. The People’s Liberation Army and China’s Space and Missile Development: Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future
Mark A. Stokes

Part III: The Campaigns
7. How Beijing Evaluates Military Campaigns: An Initial Assessment
Ron Christman

8. From Surprise to Stalemate: What the People’s Liberation Army Learned from the Korean War — A Half-Century Later
John J. Tkacik, Jr.

9. Concentrating Forces and Audacious Action: PLA Lessons from the Sino-Indian War
Larry M. Wortzel.

10. The 1979 Chinese Campaign in Vietnam: Lessons Learned
Edward C. O’Dowd and John F. Corbett, Jr.

11. The Lessons of the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis: Developing a New Strategy Toward the United States and Taiwan
Arthur S. Ding

Part IV: Domestic Deployments and Civil-Military Relations
12. Lessons Learned from the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Massacre
June Teufel Dreyer.

13. Seventy-five Years of Civil-Military Relations: Lessons Learned
Andrew Scobell

About the Contributors

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