China has been quickly expanding the amount of money that goes into its military every year. The constant jump in GDP has been a cause for concern for most of the countries surrounding China as well as their allies in the west, specifically the United States of America. China has been butting heads particularly with countries like Japan and Taiwan over various islands and territories that all the countries claim are theirs throughout history and the sudden jumps in military spending are adding more tensions to a region already fraught with it. Even with US support and all countries in the region working together against it, China’s military has grown enough that it would still be a force to be reckoned with.
However, a new report by a congressional study that was released to Congress’ U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has shed light on a number of issues still plaguing the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). While none of these are meant to take away from the growing force, abilities, and threat of the Chinese armed forces, they do show that the country still has a fair amount to work on if it wants to ever match up to the forces of the US and its allies. The report was written by 7 experts in China at the Rand Corporation and is meant to give the US military valuable information that could help defeat China in future wars. While many of the weaknesses listed were already known to the US and its allies, some newer ones were found that could lead to further planning if a war every breaks out.
Among the weaknesses found were many that were known and expected. Problems such as quality issues within the ranks of foot soldiers were brought up again, as were issues with poor command structure meant to deploy those troops. Other issues include corruption from the top of the hierarchy all the way to the bottom that could seriously impede strategy and deployments as well as equipment and logistics. One of the major issues found is the PLA’s inability to conduct joint operations between the different military wings (naval, air, and ground). This inability, coupled with the fact that there is an issues with the training, care for, and integration of advanced weapons, means that the PLA is further hampered in it’s abilities to react quickly in encounters off of mainland China. China also has weaknesses in its cybersecurity, allowing the possibility for electronic sabotage and cyber warfare aimed at its technologically advanced machines and equipment. While this all points to weaknesses, there is no denying that China is still a force to be reckoned with and that probably won’t change anytime soon.
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