In 2017, the Defense Intelligence Agency began to produce a series of unclassified Defense
Intelligence overviews of major foreign military challenges we face. This volume provides
details on China’s defense and military goals, strategy, plans, and intentions; the organization,
structure, and capability of its military supporting those goals; and the enabling infrastructure
and industrial base. This product and other reports in the series are intended to inform our public,
our leaders, the national security community, and partner nations about the challenges we face in
the 21st century.
Military Doctrine and Strategy
Perceptions of Modern Conflict
Core Elements of Command and Control Reform
Modernizing Joint Command and Control
Core Chinese Military Capabilities
Power Projection and Expeditionary Operations
Nuclear Forces and Weapons
Biological and Chemical Warfare
Denial and Deception
Logistics and Defense-Industrial Modernization
Missions Other Than War
UNCLASSIFIED DIA report released 15 January 2019. Printed in COLOR, full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
China’s current military reforms are unprecedented in their ambition and in the scale and scope of the
organizational changes. Virtually every part of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now reports to different
leaders, has had its mission and responsibilities changed, has lost or gained subordinate units, or has
undergone a major internal reorganization. This book is particularly insightful into current China thought
Released February 2019. This is a 2 Volume set.
All militaries have a responsibility to plan for contingencies, and China’s military, the People’s Liberation
Army (PLA), is no exception. PLA contingency planning takes place primarily within the General Staff
Department’s (GSD’s) First Department, also known as the GSD Operations Department. China’s seven
military regions participate in drafting and reviewing the plans relevant to their areas of responsibility, albeit under heavy supervision from the GSD. U.S. joint doctrine defines a contingency as “a situation that likely would involve military forces in response to natural and manmade disasters, terrorists, subversives, military operations by foreign powers, or other situations.” U.S. doctrine distinguishes between deliberate planning (advance preparation of campaign and contingency plans in non-crisis situations) and crisis action planning (rapid planning in response to a developing incident or situation). Deliberate planning is typically used to develop campaign and contingency plans for a broad range of activities based on requirements identified in strategic guidance for military commanders. Crisis action planning is conducted with less advance warning (hours, days, or up to 12 months) and focuses on developing alternative courses of action or refining existing campaign or contingency plans to adapt to current circumstances.
Released in 2015
The Academy of Military Sciences of the People’s Liberation Army of China issued a revised edition of its “The Science of Military Strategy” (SMS) in 2013. A Chinese-language copy was obtained by Secrecy News, but I was not able to find an English language copy so I decided to undertake to translate it into English myself. I am not a scholar of the Chinese language, but hopefully you will excuse my illiteracy as this is the only English version readily available. I believe the translation is faithful to the original however, I have taken some poetic license in order to improve the readability. Some of the colloquial expressions such as “two legged losers” (page 210) and use of a “private white hair to attack and defend the network” (page 196) went completely over my head so I didn’t make any attempt to edit them. I decided to limit the translated text on any given page in the original text to the same numbered page in this book. So, if you are unsure of the meaning of some of my edits – and, you happen to be a Chinese scholar – you will know what page number to look for in the original Chinese edition. Here, I must apologize because unfortunately, some text and sometimes complete pages of the copy I obtained were not legible, making accurate translation impossible. Where this occurs, I left that area blank so as to highlight that something is missing and added the word “Unintelligible”.
At the last minute I decided to include the text of “China’s Military Strategy” that was released by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China in 2015. You will find that at the end of this book. It provides additional context to the 2013 document and should further clarify some of the meaning. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
This is the complete translation of "The Science of Campaigns" [战役学], 2nd ed., Beijing:
National Defense University [国防大学出版社], 2006. I have not been able to find an English
language copy so I decided to undertake to translate it into English myself. I am not a scholar of
the Chinese language, but hopefully you will excuse my illiteracy. I believe the translation is
faithful to the original however, I have taken some poetic license in order to help the readability.
I decided to limit the translated text on any given page in the original text to the same numbered
page in this book. So, if you are unsure of the meaning of some of my edits – and, you happen to
be a Chinese scholar – you will know what page number to look for in the original Chinese
This is a 2-Volume book. Find both volumes on Amazon.com, as well as the ePub.
This is one of the most authoritative publicly available sources on Chinese military thinking about the campaign level of warfare. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reforms have brought dramatic changes to its structure,
model of warfighting, and organizational culture, including the creation of a Strategic Support
Force (SSF) that centralizes most PLA space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare
capabilities. These reforms come at a timewhen the PLA seeks to pivot from land-based
territorial defense to extended power projection to protect Chinese interests in the “strategic
frontiers” of space, cyberspace, and the far seas.
Released October 2018. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
Over the past sixteen years, the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) missile fast-attack
craft and amphibious fleets have been significantly modernized. While these two types of
vessels have not increased in numbers, their capabilities have increased exponentially. This
publication examines the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) doctrine and training strategy in
order to analyze present, and predict future, missions by these military vessels.
China’s deterrence posture is improved greatly by these ships and boats, which aid coastal water
defense, and threaten Taiwanese attempts to gain independence. In addition, these two fleets
improve China’s long-range sealift capabilities, and help with the PLA’s traditional, and new,
nontraditional security practices. These fleets allow the PLAN to continue offshore operations,
and begin “blue-water”, or “far-seas” operations, helping the United States to predict the future
nature of Chinese maritime missions.
I decided to print this book because it was no longer available on Amazon.com. I assume this is because the original contained charts from another publisher. Those charts have been replaced with information that is otherwise generally available in the public domain. Because this is a government publication, only the commentary is subject to copyright. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
One area of relative analytical neglect involves China’s extensive efforts to develop and deploy
large numbers of highly accurate anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and land-attack cruise
missiles (LACMs) on a range of ground, naval, and air platforms. Although a few articles have
examined Chinese cruise missile capabilities and development programs, there has been no
comprehensive study on the subject. This book addresses the historical origins of the Chinese
cruise missile program, considers progress made in developing and deploying ASCMs and
LACMs, and reviews Chinese doctrinal writings to consider how these weapons might be
employed in a conflict.
Released in 2014. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
This book addresses the increasing military modernization by China and a potentially changing
Chinese approach to its regional security environment. The reforms within the PLA take place
as China seems intent to more assertively pursue its interests and claims in disputed maritime
domains. China’s increasing military capabilities are creating complex shifts in regional security
calculations. This book presents the various domestic, international, and technological drivers of
China’s military modernization; potential trajectories for PLA modernization; and the
implications of PLA modernization for the Asia-Pacific, the international order, and U.S.-China
Released July 2015. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
An extraordinary list of contributors addresses the Chinese Air Force in a truly comprehensive
manner, providing insight to a level that hasn’t been seen before in any single volume on the
PLA or its components. The chapters offer a complete picture of where the Chinese Air Force is
today, where it has come from, and most importantly, where it is headed. Aging F–16A/B,
AIDC F–CK–1 Ching-Kuo, and Mirage 2000 fighters are increasingly being outclassed and
outnumbered by newer PRC aircraft such as the Su–27, J–10, J–11, and Su–30 aircraft. Where a
decade ago, adversaries could operate with relative impunity facing a limited-range surface-to-air
missile threat built around derivatives of the then 40-year-old Khrushchev-era SA–2, today they
face far more dangerous S–300 (SA–10/20) systems and the S–400.
Released in August 2012. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
Since 2002, Chinese leaders – including President Xi Jinping – have characterized the 21st century’s initial two decades as a “period of strategic opportunity.” They assess that international conditions during this time will facilitate domestic development and the expansion of China’s “comprehensive national power.” The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has distilled these objectives into President Xi’s “China Dream of national rejuvenation” to establish a powerful and prosperous China.
In its regional territorial and maritime disputes, China continued construction of outposts in the Spratly Islands, but also continued outreach to South China Sea claimants to further its goal of effectively controlling disputed areas. China also maintained a consistent coast guard presence in the Senkakus.
UNCLASSIFIED DoD report released August 2018. Printed in COLOR, full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.
This Report responds to the mandate “to monitor, investigate, and report to Congress on the
national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United
States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).” The Commission reached a broad and
bipartisan consensus on the contents of this Report, with all members voting unanimously to
approve and submit it to Congress.
This year’s hearings and roundtable included:
1. China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Five Years Later;
2. China’s Military Reforms and Modernization: Implications for the United States;
3. China, the United States, and Next Generation Connectivity;
4. China’s Relations with U.S. Allies and Partners in Europe and the Asia Pacific;
5. China’s Role in North Korea Contingencies;
6. China’s Agricultural Policies: Trade, Investment, Safety, and Innovation; and U.S. Tools to Address Chinese Market Distortions.
The Commission received a number of briefings by executive branch agencies and the
Intelligence Community, including both unclassified and classified briefings on China’s military
modernization, China’s defense and security activities in the Indo-Pacific, China’s relations with
northeast Asia, Chinese threats to the Department of Defense’s supply chain; China’s focus on
megaprojects; U.S. critical telecommunications infrastructure and money laundering.
Released in November 2018. Printed full size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) with large text.