Since the establishment of the Red Army in 1927, China’s military has responded to profound changes in Chinese society, particularly its domestic politics, expanding economy, and evolving defense strategies. In A History of the Modern Chinese Army, Xiaobing Li, a former member of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), provides a comprehensive examination of the PLA from the Cold War to the beginning of the twenty-first century, highlighting the military’s central function in modern Chinese society. Grounding the text in previously unreleased official Chinese government and military records, as well as the personal testimonies of more than two hundred PLA soldiers, Li charts the development of China’s armed forces against the backdrop of Chinese society, cultural traditions, political history, and recent technological advancements. A History of the Modern Chinese Army links China’s military modernization to the country’s growing international and economic power, providing a unique perspective on China’s establishment and maintenance of one of the world’s most advanced military forces.
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