In This Review

Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms
Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms
Edited by Phillip C. Saunders, Arthur S. Ding, Andrew Scobell, Andrew N. D. Yang, and Joel Wuthnow
National Defense University Press, 2019, 782 pp

This terrific book definitively assesses the ongoing reforms to China’s armed forces that General Secretary Xi Jinping announced in late 2015. The reforms seek to strengthen the People’s Liberation Army’s operational effectiveness and ability to conduct joint operations in what Chinese strategists call “informationized local wars,” recognizing the importance of information and data to modern warfare. The authors of this edited volume are leading observers and analysts of the pla and Chinese defense affairs. Eighteen meticulously researched chapters examine all aspects of the reforms, including their motivations, the changes to command structures they have brought about, and their effect on civil-military relations. The reforms are unprecedented in their scale and scope, abolishing the old general-staff system, strengthening the party’s Central Military Commission, and creating new theater commands to make the armed forces more agile in war.