Xi Jinping has just announced a 300,000-man reduction in the size of the People’s Liberation Army. These cuts are the first steps of what is likely to be the largest organizational and doctrinal change in the PLA since the 1980s and are necessary if the PLA is to shift from an Army-dominated defense of the Chinese mainland to a more maritime-oriented joint posture and force structure. The personnel, force structure, doctrine, training, and educational changes, however, will take years to implement and are an expected development in the PLA’s long-term modernization process scheduled to continue until the middle of the century.
About the Speaker:
Mr. Dennis J. Blasko served 23 years in the U.S. Army as a Military Intelligence Officer and Foreign Area Officer specializing in China. Mr. Blasko was an army attaché in Beijing and Hong Kong from 1992-1996. He served in infantry units in Germany, Italy, and Korea and in Washington at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Headquarters Department of the Army (Office of Special Operations), and the National Defense University War Gaming and Simulation Center. Mr. Blasko is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of The Chinese Army Today: Tradition and Transformation for the 21st Century, second edition (Routledge, 2012).