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Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad

Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Travis Tanner.


Brief Synopsis

To better understand the PLA’s ability to employ its developing capabilities in a variety of potential scenarios, this year’s workshop examined how the PLA learns by doing, specifically through its exercises and noncombat operations at home and overseas, and through key logistical and theoretical developments. Key findings are: 1) recent PLAN exercises and operations point to an increasing interest in developing expeditionary naval capabilities and a presence in distant seas, suggesting that a move beyond the current “near seas” focus is both possible and an extension of existing efforts; 2) PLA ground force exercises—rather than aiming to intimidate others by demonstrating the ability to project power beyond China’s borders—focus on moving military power within China, both to defend China’s borders and perhaps as a prelude to military restructuring in which smaller but more mobile formations could replace larger and more static ones; 3) through its participation in international military exercises as well as peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, the PLA is gaining greater capabilities to deploy outside of China’s borders for a variety of missions; and, 4) PLA operations are increasingly supported by a modern, civilian-integrated military logistics network, though a lack of overseas bases continues to limit the effectiveness of this network as it pertains to overseas power projection capabilities.

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Also by the /Editors:

Assessing the People's Liberation Army in the Hu Jintao Era
Asia-Pacific: A Strategic Assessment
The United States and China in Power Transition
Chinese Lessons from Other Peoples' Wars
The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military
Beyond the Strait: PLA Missions other than Taiwan
The "People" in the PLA: Recruitment, Training, and Education in China's Military
Right Sizing the People's Liberation Army: Exploring the Contours of China's Military

View other pubs in the following categories:

Asia Pacific
Military Strategy and Policy
China

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