In This Review

China's Military Transition
China's Military Transition
Edited by David Shambaugh and Richard H. Yang
Clarendon Press, 1997, 366 pp

The community of academic students of the People's Liberation Army is tiny, and this workmanlike collection of essays represents many of its members. The essays paint a common picture of a large, slowly modernizing military, with many obstacles to overcome before becoming a First World force. But a few of the essays are more suggestive and less conventional -- most notably Nan Li's description of contemporary Chinese doctrine, which suggests discontinuous change, at least in the intellectual realm. The common difficulty among the authors is measuring the rate of modernization of the PLA and assessing its role in supporting Chinese policy.