Advertisement

The Role of the Military in Chinese Politics

  • Kate Hannan
Chapter

Abstract

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.

References

  1. Benewick, Robert, and Paul Wingrove, eds. 1995. China in the 1990s. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Blecher, Marc. 1997. China against the tides. London and Washington, DC: Pinter.Google Scholar
  3. Brugger, Bill, ed. 1978. China: The impact of the cultural revolution. Canberra: ANU [Australian National University] Press.Google Scholar
  4. Callick, Rowan. 2017. Beijing beefs up its military might. The Australian, August 1.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2018. Xi to cement his hold on power. The Australian, March 2.Google Scholar
  6. Chao, Chieen-min, and Bruce J. Dickson, eds. 2001. Remaking the Chinese state. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. China Daily. 2017a. PLA slashes commercial activities. January 9.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 2017b. Ordnance industry’s reform, supervision and government support in the developed countries: Experience and inspirations. February 2.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2017c. Lower defence budget reflects confidence. March 14.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2017d. More sectors to open up for private investment. April 4.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2017e. PLA reveals new designation for first time. April 25.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2017f. Military pledges total loyalty to Xi. November 6.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 2018a. Military modernization program sees mergers and restructuring. January 1.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 2018b. Armed police must obey party. January 11.Google Scholar
  15. China Military. 2017a. Troops in Beijing stop providing paid services for civilians. February 9.Google Scholar
  16. ———. 2017b. China reshuffles military units amid bid to build world-class forces. April 19. http://engllish.chinamil.com.cn/view/2017-04/19/content7568241.htm.
  17. Dassu, Marta, and Tony Saich, eds. 1992. The reform decade in China. London and New York: Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  18. Dreyer, June Teufel. 1993. China’s political system. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Friedman, George. 2015. The Chinese Central Committee and the people’s liberation army face off. Geopolitical Futures, December 31. https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-chinese-central-committee-and-the-people’s-liberation-army-face-off/.
  20. Goodman, David S.G. 2014. Class in contemporary China. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
  21. Goodman, David S.G., and Gerald Segal, eds. 1991. China in the nineties. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  22. Lampton, David M. 2015. Xi Jinping and the National Security Commission: Policy coordination and political power. Journal of Contemporary China 24 (95): 759–777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lowy Institute for International Policy. 2017. Chinese military. January 10. http://www.lowyinstitte.org/issues/chinese-military/.
  24. Nelsen, Harvey. 1972. Military forces in the cultural revolution. China Quarterly 51: 444–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. NewsAsia. 2018. Asia Pacific—China to raise defence budget by 8.1% in 2018. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asiapacific/china-to-raise-defence-budget-by-8-1-in-2018-10013074.
  26. Saich, Tony. 2001. Governance and politics of China. Hampshire, UK and New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shambaugh, David. 2002. Modernizing China’s military. University of California Press.Google Scholar
  28. Silva, Christina. 2017. The Chinese military is getting rid of 300,000 troops to pay for new, high-tech weapons. Newsweek, September 12. http://www.newsweek.com/chinese-military-getting-rid-300000-troops-pay-new-high-tech-weapons-576873.
  29. Wuthnow, Joel, and Phillip C. Saunders. 2017. Chinese military reform in the age of Xi Jinping. China Strategic Perspective 10, Centre for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs, Institute for National Strategic Studies. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Xiaoting Li. 2017. Cronyism and military corruption in the post-Deng Xiaoping era: Rethinking the party-commands-the-gun model. Journal of Contemporary China.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2017.1305486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Xinhua. 2016. Xi calls for strong, modern military logistics. November 7.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 2017a. Xi inspects PLA southern theater command, vows to build strong army. April 22.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2017b. China to regroup PLA army. April 28.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2018. Newly elected president Xi steers China toward prosperity. March 19.Google Scholar
  35. Yamaguchi, Noboru. 2016. The meaning of the People’s Liberation Army reforms. The Diplomat, September 12. http://thediplomat.com/2016/09/the-meaning-of-the-peoples-liberation-army-reforms/.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Hannan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Personalised recommendations