At 80 Years Young, PLA Still Going Strong РJing-dong Yuan (袁劲东)

From Asia Times:

Last week marked the 80th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China’s 2.3-million-strong armed forces. From a peasant army when it was established, it has experienced victories and weathered setbacks to become an increasingly professional today.

The week-long ceremonies were attended by all the top Chinese leaders – current and retired – including the joint appearances by President Hu Jintao and former president Jiang Zemin in the Great Hall of the People. The celebrations, accompanied by exhibits of PLA achievements over the past eight decades, emphasized the essential role and the undisputable leadership of the Chinese Communist Party over the military. But there is more that deserves close attention and scrutiny. [Full Text]

Dr Jing-dong Yuan (袁劲东) is director of education program at the James Martin Center for non-proliferation studies and an associate professor of international policy studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California.

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