The Role of the Military in Chinese Politics
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The question asked in this chapter is whether under President Xi Jinping China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could be persuaded to again use military force to promote specific goals and factional interests. Could the PLA, an institution that has played an important and central role in Chinese politics, again be asked to use force to ensure the resolution of a disagreement at the highest levels of the Party? Past Chinese leaders, Mao Zedong (at the time of the Cultural Revolution 1966–76) and Deng Xiaoping (during the 1989 Tiananmen Crisis), have been accused of using the military to buttress their own power and enforce their policy preferences. They have been judged harshly.
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