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After the 16th Party Congress: The Civil and the Military

Edited by Andy Gudgel.

October 2003

Brief Synopsis

Over 50 experts on China and the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) gathered at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, from October 1-3, to attend the 2004 Chinese Crisis Management Conference. Cosponsored by the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and the U.S. Army War College, the conference participants discussed a framework for analyzing Chinese decisionmaking during crises, and examined historical examples of domestic, regional, and international crises and how the Chinese government dealt with them.

Key Insights

• Elder Chinese Communist Party leaders such as Jiang Zemin are becoming increasingly marginalized, while leaders of the “Fourth Generation” are becoming more prominent.
• The Chinese political system is becoming increasingly institutionalized. However, this process is not yet complete.
• There is growing separation between Chinese civil and military elites.
• The best way to describe China’s new military leaders is as “Techno-Nationalists”; generals with strong operational and technical backgrounds who have a great interest in modernizing the People’s Liberation Army.
• Several new concepts in Chinese military thought require further study by Western researchers.

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