ABSTRACT

The modernization of Chinese national defense capacities has long been a preoccupation of decision makers in China. Both in terms of the specific content of various efforts to enhance Chinese military power and the major consequences deriving from such decisions, modernization encompasses a diverse and complex range of political, economic, and organizational choices. Modernization denotes more than simply selecting among various advanced technologies, although such choices are an integral part of this process. Decisions related to military acquisition also exert a major and direct influence on basic industrialization strategies and the resource allocation process, the manpower and training requirements for China's armed forces, and the defense doctrines espoused by the P.R.C.'s military leadership. Less directly, but no less critically, debates over defense modernization have served as the vehicle for elite political conflict at the highest decision making levels. Thus, a comprehensive view of this issue must pay heed to the entire range of decisions, issues, and programs involved in (and affected by) such a policy objective.