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Focused and Looking Forward
China Pouring Money into Fixing Its Military

Xi Jinping has made the modernization of China’s armed forces a priority for his administration. The New York Times:

China’s military budget has grown to be the second largest in the world, behind that of the United States, and the country has acquired sophisticated weapons systems. But Mr. Xi has told his commanders that is not enough.

“There cannot be modernization of national defense and the military without modernization of the military’s forms of organization,” Mr. Xi told a committee of party leaders studying military reform at its first meeting in March, Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, reported. “There has to be thoroughgoing reform of leadership and command systems, force structure and policy institutions,” he was quoted as saying.

And the Chinese top brass are benchmarking their progress against very specific adversaries:

Japan and its alliance with the United States have become prime strategic interests for China, whose commanders have been referring to their country’s defeat at Japanese hands in 1895 and using that humiliation as a prod for change.

“Japan’s victory was a victory of its institutions,” Gen. Liu Yazhou of the Chinese Army’s National Defense University said in an interview with the Chinese news media last month. “The defeat of the Qing empire was a defeat of its institutions.”

That’s the big news this Memorial Day: China has a leader who understands the importance of military power, grasps that China’s backwards and corrupt military structure can’t serve as the foundation for true great power status, and has the power, the money and the will to do something about it.

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  • PKCasimir

    Money can’t fix institutions.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    They would do better to read Victor Davis Hanson’s “Carnage and Culture” and how the western culture of freedom and democracy made them the hard fighting peoples that they are today. Throwing money at a problem goes only so far when the slave army you have fighting for you has no belly for the fight. Most of the world has watched with amazement as America’s all volunteer military has smashed conventional armies in the middle-east with almost no casualties. And the extreme flexibility it then took to go on and fight unconventional wars with great success and few casualties. I think the Chinese now think that was all about military equipment, and force structure, rather than what it really was, which was troops raised in a western culture.
    When we last fought the Chinese during the Korean war, the Chinese lost huge numbers of men and still only got a stalemate despite putting in 1.35 million troops against America’s 325k. It’s still classified how many troops the Chinese lost, probably because it’s an embarrassingly large number like 500k including large numbers from disease, cold, and no medical treatment.

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