Saturday, August 23, 2014

But the PLA Looks Good

Let's hope this is true and not a matter of "when strong, appear weak":

As tensions spike between China and other countries in Asia's disputed waters, serving and retired Chinese military officers as well as state media are questioning whether China's armed forces are too corrupt to fight and win a war.

A slew of articles in official media in recent months have drawn parallels with the rampant graft in the People's Liberation Army and how a corrupt military contributed to China's defeat in the Sino-Japan War 120 years ago.

Let's also hope--if this is true--that China's leaders know their military can't fight effectively against all but an inferior foe. Otherwise, the Chinese leaders could order their military in to battle in the mistaken belief that their shiny weapons equal a shiny military.

I suspect China's military is not as battle ready as the new weapons indicate. Corruption is real and the transition from peasant army to high tech military is still a work in progress.

But I also suspect that they could do well enough with enough of the units that are good to win some wars--or at least the initial battles, counting on foes to back down and lick their wounds rather than fight on to reverse initial losses. Not all their progress is on the surface, given Chinese efforts to train their troops to higher standards.