China's Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March (Cambridge Modern China Series)

China's Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March (Cambridge Modern China Series)

Andrew Scobell

Language: English

Pages: 318

ISBN: 0521525853

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Andrew Scobell examines the use of Chinese military force abroad as in Korea (1950), Vietnam (1979), and the Taiwan Strait (1995-1996) and domestically, as during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and in the 1989 military crackdown in Tiananmen square. Scobell warns that a "Cult of Defense" disposes Chinese leaders to rationalize all military deployment as defensive. However, changes in the People's Liberation Army's doctrine and capabilities over the past two decades suggest that China's 21st Century leaders may use military force more readily than their predecessors.











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place in mid-February between Tan and Zhang Chunqiao. Zhang was scornful of the CCP, asserting that the masses could function well on their own and that the party’s leadership was unneces- sary. Tan accused the radicals of trying to destroy the party and let the masses make revolution without guidance from the party. Tan grabbed his briefcase and coat and was about to storm out of the conference room when Zhou con- vinced him to stay.35 On February 16, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang

even this description does not entirely capture the complexities of the situation. The events in Wuhan were complicated by three factors: Mao’s presence in the city, unruly mobs beyond the control of national or local elites, and competing loyalty networks within the PLA. The first complicating element was the presence of Mao in the eye of the storm. Sequestered in virtual anonymity and apparently oblivious to the chaos around him, Mao reportedly harbored no concern that he might be

issues.49 7 P1: GCV CY236-03 0 52181979 2 May 29, 2003 11:22 China’s Use of Military Force In fact, broader studies of Chinese foreign policy also give little attention to the military.50 There is a dearth of studies on the PLA’s involvement in foreign policy crises where the use of force is weighed.51 This inattention to the PLA is also evident when one examines domestic politics. There are a few impor- tant exceptions, most obviously the PLA’s crushing of the popular protests in

absolutely no plans to escalate to actual war. In 1995–6, China was actually more bellicose toward Taiwan compared to the 1980s and early 1990s, but it was no more bellicose than it had been in the 1950s and 1960s. A major puzzle is how to explain the hawkishness of the PLA in this instance. It seems inconsistent with the disposition of military figures in the four other cases examined in this book. Analyses of these other Chinese cases suggest that Richard Betts’ findings from U.S. case

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