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Chinese Revolution in Military Affairs and Lessons for India

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"In Statecraft, There Are No Permanent Friends Or Enemies, Only Permanent Interests."- Lord Palmerton, echoed most recently by Gen Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan!

1. American combat effectiveness in the Gulf War amazed the observers all around the world. The Gulf war indicated the future where the USA military could strike anywhere with force, precision, confusing its enemy electronically with little of warfare's collateral destruction. It proved that information age technology combined with appropriate doctrine & training might allow small but advanced 21st century military to protect national interest with unprecedented efficiency.

2. The revolution in military affairs today is the biggest challenge to China as the countries which are most capable of bringing the concept of RMA into reality are China's potential adversaries. The United States, in particular, has started using its RMA to consolidate its military superiority over Asia – Pacific region. Understanding the gravity of situation to China's long term national security, the Chinese regime has shown much enthusiasm in learning, absorbing, & applying RMA as a part of its catch up with potential adversaries.

3. China's rapid rise as a regional political & economical power with growing global influence has significant implications for Asia – Pacific & the world. RMA has lead comprehensive transformation of People Liberation Army from a mass army designed to protracted war of attrition on its territory to one capable of fighting & winning short duration war , an approach China refers to as preparing for ' local war under condition of informatization.' The pace and scope of China's military transformation have increases in recent years, fuelled by RMA related activities such as acquisition of of advanced foreign weapons , high rate of investment in its domestic defense industries , organisational & doctrinal reform of armed forces. Though, China's ability to sustain military power is limited , its armed forces continue to exploit RMA such as Information warfare, cyber warfare, nuclear , space, which are changing regional military balances & have implications beyond Asia – Pacific regions.

4. Though, China publically asserts that China's military modernisation is purely defensive in nature, its strategic aim in exploiting RMA is still unclear.Over the past several years , China has begun several military missions for People Liberation Army which goes beyond China's immediate territorial interests & it has left the world community about purpose & objective of RMA. Morever China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure & engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declared policies. The limited transparency in China's military & security affairs possess risk to stability by creating uncertainity & increasing misunderstanding in its immediate neighbourhood well as to the world.

5. All this is of special significance to India, as hidden within the folds of the Chinese example are clues as to how we should approach the issue of a Revolution in Military Affairs. There are lessons we must urgently learn if we are not to lose this historic opportunity of leveraging ourselves to the big league. If we miss the bus this time, and find ourselves relegated to the shadows of the Dragon in the not-too-distant future, we will have only ourselves to blame.



Statement of the Problem

9. " The paper would seek to analyse the approach adapted by China to embrace the ongoing RMA & its implications on the world and india in particular.

Justification of the Study

10. The world is at the threshold of a massive leap forward in the ways we live and the ways we will fight. A Revolution in Military Affairs is prophesied as the way ahead for the future battlefield. Most of the literature on the subject emanates from the West, which treats the subject from a Western viewpoint. Referring and adhering to the Western prism will leave a country in a perpetual status of being a follower.

11. With a rich tradition of original strategic thought, China today provides a refreshing example of how the current day concepts of RMA are being remoulded to suit her handicaps of being a developing country with relatively backward armed forces.The Chinese initiative in redefining the Revolution in Military Affairs to suit her own circumstances is specially pertinent to India, which stands at a crucial crossroad in her history, and must intelligently apply precepts of the RMA as applicable to her unique situation if she has to find her rightful place in the world.

13. This study is spurred by an abiding interest to determine the unique approach of the Chinese towards the Revolution in Military Affairs, and its implications on the world & india in particular.


14. This study concentrates on the way the Chinese are moulding the Revolution in Military Affairs to suit their own circumstances, and emerging implications of Chinese revolution in military affairs to multipolar world and India in particular.

Methods of Data Collection

15. Data for the study has been culled mainly from the Internet. In addition, books and periodicals have been referred to for background information. Sources referred to are acknowledged at footnotes throughout the text, and a compendium of the same is appended in the form of a bibliography.

Organisation of the Dissertation

16. It is proposed to study the subject in the following manner: -

(a) China and Revolution in Military Affairs

. No study of present day advancement in the field of revolution in military affairs in China can have correct perspective without examining evolving grand strategy in China which compelled it to embrace Revolution in military affairs. A correct understanding of Chinese strategic thought with particular reference towards revolution in military affairs will point to the present day development and will also give likely implications of Chinese RMA to multipolar environment.

(b) Current Strategic Thought in China Towards Harnessing RMA.

A number of senior Chinese defence forces officials have aired their views on various aspects of the RMA. Though at many instances merely drawing lessons from the USA, there are efforts to modify the tenets of RMA to suit the Chinese condition. The following aspects merit attention: -

(i) Doctrine.

(ii) Land Operations.

(iii) Naval Warfare.

(iv) Air Warfare.

(v) Space Warfare.

(vi) Theatre missiles.

(vii) Stealth.

(viii) Information Warfare.

(c) Chinese RMA : The Future Ahead .

Chinese leaders have stated their intentions and allocated their resources to pursue broad based military transformation which encompasses force- wide professionalization, improved training , more robust , realistic joint exercises and accelerated acquisition and development of modern conventional weapon.

(d) Chinese RMA and its impact on the World Order .

China has always been one of the most important states in the international system primarily because of its large territory , vast resources and large population. Although, relatively weak power , rapid military modernisation through RMA has generated strong apprehension in the mind of other global powers. The chapter identifies and analyses the motivation behind Chinese Revolution in Military Affairs and how it might posess fundamental challenge regionally and globally.

(e) Implications on India. In the ultimate analysis , a pragmatic threat assessment must take into account adversary's capabilities and not intention because the latter would change according to nation's interest. To meet this Chinese challenge adequately , India should take a cue from Chinese RMA and adapt a clear vision about our role in world affairs in future.



"Mao Zedong enabled the Chinese to stand tall; Deng Xiaoping let the people get rich;

the third generation leadership, with Jiang Zemin at its core, will enable China to become a strong country." - Zhang Wannian (1997).[1]

17. Defining and describing RMA is an arduous task which has consumed the time and intellectual energy of numerous analysts . Every analysts have their own perception on ongoing RMA. Broadly sketching the apparent consensus worldwide on RMA, the following can be inferred about RMA :-

(a) RMAs are not simply technological in nature but concern significant process and changes in military related areas.

(b) RMA emerges from revolutionary changes of historic magnitude with in the broader social, economic, and political environment of national and global societies.

(c) RMA is the synergistic combination of several developments in military affairs and has the capability to alter the nature of warfare.

18. The study of the advancement made by China in the field of RMA will not have correct perspective without holistically examining the issue through the prism of her evolving strategic. A correct understanding of Chinese strategic thought, with particular reference towards a Revolution in Military Affairs, will point to the reasons of present day developments, as also give pointers for the future.

18. In the earliest days of recorded history , development in military strategy and technology were evolutionary and was measured in centuries. However, since mid century due to rapid technological driven environment , RMA is measured in decades or less and this rapid change in military affairs is likely to accelerate in the era of information age. As a result , since nineteenth century and throughout its process national building China has been playing " catch up" with increasing recurring revolution in military affairs.

19. Historically, China has had always kept itself isolated from the world affairs.. China's humiliating experience of colonialism in the nineteenth century resulted in reinforcing her views of herself as a 'middle kingdom', surrounded by nations keen to conquer her. China grew to regard her huge land mass and vast population as her best defence and relied heavily upon them for her protection.[3]

23. However , American combat effectiveness in Gulf war amazed the Chinese and forced them to revaluate their old military concepts. Therefore, after Gulf war, the revolution in military affairs has preoccupied the Chinese in same way as it preoccupied the major military powers. The preoccupation has led Chinese military to sponser many

RMA related conferences and publication of many RMA releted books in China.

The following were the strategy adapted by China in embracing RMA :-

(a) Operation Iraqui Freedom was studied to incorporate new ideas including rethinking assumptions about value of long range precision strikes independent of ground forces and integration of psychological operations with air and ground forces thereby improving the joint operations.

(b) China realised that its isolation approach in world order is denying its reach to latest developments in the world. Therefore, it has increased its cooperation and interaction with foreign political as well as military leaders.

(c) China's state owned defense and defense related companies have undergone broad based transformation. China is also emphasising on integration of defense and non defense sector to leverage the latest dual use technologies and output from China's expanding science and technology base. Augmented by direct acquisition of foreign weapons and technology these reforms have enabled China to develop and produce advance weapon system such as missiles, fighter aircrafts and warship.

(d) China has also given its research and development programme a top priority. According to the organisation of Economical cooperational development , China's research and development spending has increased at an annual rate of nineteen percent since 1995 to reach 30 billion dollar in 2005, the sixth highest in the world..[4]


24. According to China , RMA is a technology in the military field and human society. It is mainly driven by the development of a technology. These technological developments then combine with broader human innovations to bring changes to military doctrine , organisations and structures culminating inti revolution in military affairs. To the Chinese military , Revolution in military affairs also reflects a larger and deeper revolution in China's social and economic developments. Chinese military strategists fully realise that China's greatest test will be its ability to continue to reform its political , social and economic development to a level at which Chinese society can sustain RMA. In PLA'S view innovative application of new technology to military operations and militar6y organisation will affect the conduct of war and countries with superior information technology will easily overwhelm those witout. . Therefore, Chinese military realises the importance of technological , economic and social factor as an important tool in achieving RMA. The limitations imposed by technological , economic, and social factor has forced China to pursue RMA with a Chinese charecteristics.which emphasises asymmetry by which an inferior Chinese force can prevail over a superior US adversary. The Chinese model involves simultaneous mechanization and informatization.

25. Deng Xiaoping's Strategic Thought.[5] Deng Xiaoping imparted a discernable shift to China's strategic thought in 1985, with his vision of the future of China and the world. Deng's thoughts laid the foundation for modernization and latter day efforts towards RMA, a brief insight into his ideas is relevant: -

(a) In light of the ending of the Cold War, Deng determined that there would be no world wars, and that peace and development were the two big strategic priorities in the new era.

(b) Deng held national interest to be supreme, and that China should unswervingly pursue an independent foreign policy, opposing hegemonism and power politics.

(c) Deng articulated the idea of comprehensive national strength, which implied that defence development be subordinated to the needs of national economic development

(d) Armed Forces. Deng stressed on the need to have the combination of a small but highly trained standing army with strong, large reserves. He envisioned a reduction in the numerical strength of the armed forces, along with a concurrent improvement in the quality, including overall qualifications of officers and soldiers. He further envisaged a raise in the level of defence equipment, and an appropriate force structure to improve the fighting capability of the armed forces, so that they could meet the requirements of modern warfare.

The Concept of Modern Local Wars

26. In consonance with the developmental strategy chalked out for China in the Deng era, China began to approach the issues of security through the prism of modern local war. The basic tenets of active defence as espoused by Mao remained. However, the area where wars were considered likely was not at world level, but around China's borders, due to the following contingencies [6]: -

Military conflict with neighbouring countries in a limited region.

Military conflict in territorial waters.

Undeclared air attacks by enemy countries.

Territorial defence in a limited military operation.

Punitive offensive with a minor incursion into a neighbouring country.

Four Futures

28. Considerable interest has been generated in China in high technology being used in wars, after the Falklands War and more recently, the Gulf War. Under the present day dispensation of Jiang Zemin, there is considerable debate as to how to approach the issue of RMA, particularly in light of limited resources. Different threat scenarios favour different thinking inside the PLA. There are four schools of thought [7] on how a future war is to be fought: -

(a) People's War. The People's War traditionalists would prefer to cast future threats in terms of confrontations with major powers, such as India, Japan or the United States, which would aggressively impact China's territory. To them, a large standing force and the ability to sustain protracted conflict is a necessary condition to support their views. The operational concept envisions crushing of any high tech limited war by 'conducting comprehensive resistance, prolonging operational space and time to wear the enemy down, through human resource oriented deep operations'[8]. Though the strength in human resource is played up, the concept in no way detracts from the importance, rather abject necessity, to develop technology.

(b) Power Projection. The power projection advocates take a more pragmatic view. Minor conflicts are likely to occur along the peripheral areas of China, which are China's economic centres, and also with Taiwan, they say. A power projection strategy with provision of credible intimidation in support of foreign policy, coupled with prudent defence acquisition, greater professionalism and modernization is the best course of action to support China's national security strategy.

(c) RMA Enthusiasts. Military revolutionists see dramatic changes coming in the future, around 2030 or so, and argue that China needs to prepare now to take full advantage of the technological advances of the on-going revolution in military affairs (RMA).

(d) Unrestricted Warfare. Unrestricted warfare advocates constitute a recently emerged fourth group. They argue that the scope of war should be expanded by any means available, including hacker attacks against financial institutions, and using information operations to corrupt or disable the cognitive ability of an opponent. In unrestricted war "there are no rules, with nothing forbidden."

29. In summary, China has continuously evolved its military strategy to keep pace with changing world scenario. Simultaneously , it has felt need of producing RMA related weapons and equipment indigenously to strengthen its evolving military strategy. China at present is at cross road of developing RMA. While positive elements of facilitating RMA with Chinese charecteristics are abundant, there are certain factors mostly socio political system which may impede China's RMA effort. It will be indeed a daunting task for China to completely transform China's defence industry with an indigenous capability which will make China a true RMA driven country.



30. Military specialists in China have understood the impact of emerging RMA in future battlefield . In particular, PLA observers witnessed how quickly the force equipped with high technology weapon defeated the Iraqui force that resembled PLA in many ways. The force and capability displayed by coalition during the conflict prompted PLA theorists to alter their perception of future wars highlighting the importanc3e of air and air defence operations, elect6ronic and information warfare and long range precision strikes .

China military thinker5sw are working to incorporate the concept of modern warfare attributed to the revolutionary in military affairs and have placed a priority on developing the technologies and tactics necessary to conduct rapid tempo and high technology warfare in Asia. PLA military strategists are of the opinion that current RMA hold the potential for producing new form of warfare , enhanced info warfare and digitized combat forces. At the same time based on observations and lessons learnt from Gulf War and Op Allied Force , PLA military strategists perceives certain weaknesses in the US overreliance on advances offered by RMA. Consequently, PLA military strategists besides pursuing RMA advances are also exploiting its weaknesses. and history, developments in modern technology, and the study of foreign army experiences.[9]

Military Doctrine

45. Traditionally China followed the concept of people's war which aimed at compensating its technological inferiority by abundance of its manpower , spact and time. The decline and final end of cold war has denied China to fight manpower based protracted war. Therefore, since 1985, there has been strategic transition in PLA from concept of total war to localand limited technology driven war.

46. War Zone Campaign

To enable PLA's [11]. The doctrine is a comprehensive document seeking to bring to fruition the following trends in the PLA: -

(a) Reduction in the active duty strength of the PLA, with an emphasis on technological quality and training.

(b) Increase in the size of Reserves and People's Armed Police, to fulfill the role of militias.

(c) The PLA will retain many existing weapons and attempt to develop new tactics and techniques to defeat a high-tech enemy.

(d) The PLA can only afford to supply limited elite formations with latest equipments and weapons procured from abroad. The indigenous Chinese defence industry will continue to be the source of the majority of modern weapons.

(e) Capabilities will emphasize rapid response and joint operations, focusing on precision attack, joint air, naval, special and, information warfare.

(f) Command and control organizations will be reorganized to streamline the C3I process.

(g) The PLA is going to cut 100,000 personnel per year through much of this decade. By 2010, the total members of the PLA in all services will be less than two million. Volunteers will make up the bulk if not all of the forces.

46. The War Zone Campaign (WZC) envisages three phases: -

(a) Elite Forces and Sharp Arms ( Jingbing Liqi). Use of a Special operation force to find information of the enemy, dominate him, and make a political statement, forcing him to withdraw.

(b) Gaining Initiative by Striking First ( Xianji Zhidi ). This involves pre-emptive strikes against the enemy's critical targets, convincing him to desist without having to defeat his armed forces.

(c) Fighting a Quick Battle to Force a Quick Resolution (Suzhan Sujue). Involves use of mobile formations such as armour and mechanized infantry for a quick kill, to force a political resolution.

47. Active Defence. The active defense component of nthe doctrine indicates defensive military strategy in Which China does not initiate wars but engages in war only to defend national soverneigty and territorial integrity . The essence of active defence is to take initiative and annhiliate the enemy through RMA related weapons.

48. Local War Under Informatization. The concept of informatization emphasizes the effect of information technologyon military decision and weapon employment .The PlA formerly institutionalized this concept in 2004. Since then , information warfare has been accorded highest priority in China's RMA.

49. Information Plus Fire Power Model. Drawing lessons from RMA led US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan , the PLA has developed a new ground force combat model. A new model using information plusfirepower considers ground forces as integrated with in a joint force focused onrapid occupation of key strategic targets and stablisation of battle field.

Land Operations

49. The transformation of the PLA away from its historical concept of mass formations geared to fight people's war to smaller forces with more mobile , long range capability has been accorded highest priority. Since early 1980, manpower reduction has been greatest in land forces. According to Chinese strategists Characteristics of future land operations [12] are considered to encompass the following concepts: -

(a) Future Land Battle will be Multi Dimensional and Multi Directional. Battles will be fought in the far as well as near distances. The battlespace will not be fixed, and operations will be fought on land, on water, in the air, under water and in space.

(b) Time and Space will have New Meaning. Time on the battlefield has been shortened, and modern weapons and high-speed mobile transport will make operational activities faster..

(c) Power and Accuracy to Strike. The primary objective of the battle will mainly be the destruction of enemy command, control, and weapons systems. Smart weapons will make small-scale operational activities highly efficient. The concept of achieving high efficiency at a relatively low cost has become the basic goal of modern warfare and will be even more so in 21st-century land operations.

(d) Inform ation Superiority will Be Key to success . The wide application of electronic information technology in the military sphere will integrate information with firepower. It wqill be a tool to defeat superior enemy..

(a) Joint operations will be the norm, for integration and synergy.

50. Current Progress by China towards RMA in Land Operations. In consonancewith the new doctrine China has put tremendous effort toward implementing RMA into its ground forces.. Open source literature [13] indicates the following to be the current status: -

(a) Reduction in PLA's Strength. The main purpose of RMA in Chinese ground forces is to create smaller more technological advanced forcecapable of participating in PLA'S deterrence warfighting and non traditional security missions.Since 1997, ground forces structure has been modified by deactivating, transforming and restructuring of numerous army units. China is continuously reducing strength of its ground forces to make it a leaner and highly mobile force. In addition the nu of ground forces has been reduced from 100 manoevre divisions and 20 manoevre brigades to about 35 manoevre divisions and 41 brigades

(b) Rapid Reaction Forces (RRF). To impart strategic mobility with the aim of fighting a successful `people's war under modern conditions, China has increased the scale of its Rapid Reaction Forces in all its Group Armies. Each Group Army now consists of a tank Division, with a tank transport regiment for added mobility. The RRFs will achieve the objective of regional `mobile defence' through mutual rapid support to any affected Military Region (MR).

(c) Mechanization and Informatization. Mechanization includes transformation ofs motorized infantry to mechanized units equipped with wheel or tracked armoured unit and self propelled artillery. Informatization includes upgrading existing equipment and introduction of new advanced system, training of peronnels and maintain these system and operational aspects of information and electronic warfare.

(e) C4I Modernisation. The PLA has embarked on a well-financed effort to modernise its C4I infrastructure. The modernised C4I system is composed of at least four major networks: a military telephone network, a confidential telephone network, a data communications network and a "comprehensive communication system for field operations." One important development has been the laying of fibre optic lines, which now form the core of China's long-distance networks and trunk lines. This fibre optic backbone will pose problems to any future adversary's efforts to gain intelligence through SIGINT.[14]

(f) Equipment. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, China has selectively equipped only a portion of the ground forces with new weapons, while leaving the remainder to make do with existing equipment.[15] Among new capabilities acquired by PLA ground forces are approximately 200 Type 98 and Type 99 third generation main battle tank. Ground forces have also acquired a new generation assault amphibious vehicle , a 130 km range 12 tubes 200 mm multiple launch rocket system and 6 tube 400mm multiple launch rocket system with the range of 2oo km. Since 1999, PLA ground forces have received a variety of new Chinese-made weapons and equipment, includ­ing main battle tanks, amphibious tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery, tactical SAM and AAA systems, and small arms. A number of new support vehicles and items have also been deployed (forklifts, maintenance vans, fuel tankers, field kitchens, and ambulances). Of significance is that Chinese electronics and aviation industries have provided computers, satellite and microwave communications, optical fiber links, night-vision goggles, frequency-hopping radios, battlefield surveillance equipment, and unmanned aerial ve­hicles.

(h) In summary, the PLA ground forces are on their way to becoming leaner, more rapidly deployable, and are being gradually equipped with weapons that increase the range from which they can strike the enemy. If pursued with deliberate commitment, the transformation of the ground forces in their ability to undertake missions in the 21st century will increase manifold.

Naval Warfare

51. It was around nineties that China realised the importance of exploitation of sea for exploitation of energy , the strategic importance of island in South China Sea and consequently the need to ensure security of sea routes played an important role in shaping China's maritime strategy. The chief architect of the PLAN modernization drive , Admiral Liu Hua Quing , put forward " active green water defence strategy as :

(a) Long range manoeuverability of naval fleet.

(b) Achieving ultimate deterrence against big powers.

(c) Extending PLAN power projection caqpability.

(d) The active green water defence strategy was a stepping stone which significantly changed prioritizationbetween three services. The PLAN previously the least important was now given the highest priority.

53. Technology Likely to Revolutionise Naval Warfare. Chinese RMA enthusiasts[16] feel that certain cutting edge technologies are first likely to be employed in naval warfare. These are likely to be: -

Nuclear technology for propulsion systems.

Microelectronic technology to make ships and weapon systems smarter.

Stealth technology for ships and missiles to be stealth capable.

Infra Red technology for target acquisition and intelligence.

Precision guidance technology for weapon accuracy.

Satellite technology for navigation, monitoring and warning systems.

Super conduction technology will allow ships to travel faster without noise.

New materials technology for developing under sea weapon systems.

54. Along with new technology, it is foreseen that the following concepts will dominate naval warfare in the future: -

(a) Information. The new military revolution will accelerate the digitisation of the naval battlefield. The side controlling information will be able to manipulate the war, attack the enemy with advanced information weapons to paralyse him and destroy important targets with precise firepower.

(b) Concentration of firepower will replace concentration of force, due to the combination of an information intensive battlefield and precision weapons. This will result in remote attack becoming a major combat concept.

(c) The Rise of the Submarine. Submarines will be relatively impervious to the battlefield transparency on the sea resulting from the extensive application of information technology. As a result, their value in attacking land, sea as well as air targets will be greatly enhanced.

(d) Emphasis on Joint Actions. With interchangeable weapon systems and seamless information systems, joint actions will be possible. Any single service will not be able to mount a campaign level operation.

56. The PLA Navy's Current Standing. The reform era brought a breath of fresh air to the Chinese navy. Another personality who brought significant modernisation in terms of doctrines, structure, training, up gradation in bases, organisation was General Liu Huaqing. PLAN's modernisation proceeded along three paths – indigenous construction, foreign purchase and reverse engineering.

(a) Surface Vessel Modernisation . China has developed and built four new classes of ships[17]: Luhu- and Luda III-class destroyers, Jiangwei-class frigates, Dayun-class resupply vessels, and Houjian- and Houxin-class missile patrol craft. PLAN has substantial number of anti-ship missiles and its newer ships are heavily armed with missiles Two Sovremenny Class guided missile destroyers equipped with advanced SS-N-22 Anti Ship Cruise missiles have been procured from Russia.

(c) Submarines: - The significant development in the history of PLAN is the submarine force. It has enabled the Chinese to build a triad nuclear capability and have reduced their vulnerability against US attacks on their air and land missiles

(i) PLAN is also improving its over the horizion targeting targeting capability with sky wave and surface wave Over the head radar. And is also developing missile with improved range and accuracy,

(ii) China has two types of new-generation nuclear submarines currently under development: the 093-type attack nuclear submarine and the 094-type guided-missile nuclear submarine. Based on current development, these submarines will be able to join the service in the early part of the 21st century, greatly enhancing Chinese naval under-water capability. [18]

(iii) Submarine Reactor Technology. China has made a breakthrough in high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technology. The reactor developed is the most advanced nuclear power system existing today.

(d) Reverse Engineering. In real terms, China's naval acquisitions from foreign sources remain low. There is a view that this is to ensure China does not become hostage to a foreign power for its maritime needs. In house reverse engineering, in consonance with China's current economic growth, could result in a regional Navy by 2020 [19].

(e) China is constructing new HOUBEI class wave piercing hull missile patrol boat. More than 40 of these units have already entered service.

(f) China has launched 10, 000 tons ANWEI class hospital ship in October 08. In addition to provide PLA with at sea medical capability, it may also help in humanitarian support effort in Asia.

(g) China has an active aircraft carrier R & D programme. China could develop its own indigenous platform by the end of decay.

(h) Naval Doctrine . As to the changes, the doctrine has been redefined to have

limited war under high-technology conditions. This gives way to the technological and scientifically significance in operations.

Air Warfare

The People's Liberation Army is stepping up preparations for military struggle. While continuing to attach importance to building the Army, the PLA gives priority to building the Navy, Air Force, and Second Artillery Force to seek balanced development of the combat force structure, to strengthen the capabilities for winning both command of the sea and command of the air, and to conduct strategic counter-strikes. The PLA Air Force is responsible for safeguarding China's airspace security and maintaining a stable air defense posture nationwide. To meet the requirements of informationalized air operations, the Air Force has gradually shifted from one of territorial air defense to one of both offensive and defensive operations. Emphasis is placed on the development of new fighters, air defense and anti-missile weapons, and the means of information operations and automated command systems. Combined arms and multi-role aircraft combat training is intensified to improve the capabilities in operations such as air strikes, air defense, information counter-measures, early warning and reconnaissance, strategic mobility, and integrated support. Efforts are being made to build a defensive air force, which is appropriate in size, sound in organization and structure, advanced in weaponry and equipment, and possesses integrated systems and a complete array of information support and operational means.

58. Doctrine

Three changes in the PLAAF's doctrinal guidance have occurred since 1999, which have provided the foundation for the rapid shift in training and operational changes taking place.

(a) In 1999 the PLAAF revised its "Campaign Gangyao," which provides the classified doctrinal basis and general guidance for how the PLAAF will fight future campaigns.

(b) In 2001, the PLAAF revised its Training Guidance Concepts. These 16 characters (four sets of four characters) can roughly be translated as "fight the way you train; all training will be opposition force training; discipline is essential; and use science and technology as the basis for all training."

(C) In 2002, the PLAAF completely revised its Outline for Military Training and Evaluation (Junshi Xunlian yu Kaohe Dagang), known simply as "dagang." This compilation of classified documents, supported by dozens of regulations, provides the real details of how the PLAAF trains.

Organizational Structure

According to the PRC's 2000 Defense White Paper, the PLA began reducing its force by 500,000 in 1997, of which 12.6 percent (63,000) came from the PLAAF. The 2004 White Paper states, "In September 2003, the PRC announced further reduction of 200,000 troops by the end of 2005 to maintain the size of the PLA at 2.3 million. The current restructuring, while cutting down the numbers, aims at optimal force structures, smoother internal relations and better quality."


China bases 490 combat aircraft within un-refueled operational range of Taiwan, and has the airfield capacity to expand that number by hundreds. Many of these aircraft are upgrades of older models, however, newer and more advanced aircraft make up a growing percentage of the inventory. The modernized FB-7A fighter-bomber augments other multi-role and strike aircraft such as the F-10 and Su-30MKK, already deployed with China's air forces. China is upgrading its B-6 bomber fleet (originally adapted from the Russian Tu-16) with a new variant which, when operational, will be armed with a new long-range cruise missile. The PLAAF has received eight battalions of upgraded Russian SA-20 PMU-2 long-range (200km) SAM systems since 2006. The SA-20 system reportedly provides limited ballistic and cruise missile defense capabilities. Russian press reporting suggests another eight battalions could be delivered within the next two years.

Space Warfare

63. PLA strategists believe space as an important tool for modern informatized warfare. Specifically, space based command , control, communication and computers and intelligence, survillience and reccoainassance is an important tool to enable coordinate joint operationsand information based local war. PLA analysts of US and coalition military operations have reinforced the importance of ops in space to enable informatized warfare. Concurrently China is developing the ability to attack an adversary space based assets. PLA military strategists emphsises the necessity of destroying , damaging and interfering with the ENEMY'S reconnaissance, observation and communication satellites. The January 2007 test of ASAT weapon demonstrates the increasing counterspace capability of CFhina. In addition to ASAT capability, PLA is also developing the ability to jam, blind or disable the satellites and space support infrastructure.

64. Current Developments.

The China Aerospace S&T Corporation (CASC) appears to be developing at least four space-based systems [20] that would expand PLA battlespace awareness and support strike operations further from Chinese shores. Space assets could enable the monitoring of naval activities in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the South China Sea. Space-based reconnaissance systems also provide the images necessary for mission planning functions, such as navigation and terminal guidance for land attack cruise missiles. Satellite communications offer a survivable means of communication that will become particularly important as the PLA operates further from its shores.

65. Important Milestones.

Milestones in space technology in recent years that could contribute handily to China's quest for information dominance are as under [21]: -

(a) Launch of Ziyauan-2, a remote sensing satellite that has dual use for photoreconnaissance, and is also called Janbiang-3.

(b) A military communication satellite was launched in Jan 2000 as part of PLA's command and control network linking combat forces.

(c) China is planning eight satellites in the Huanjing programme that are capable of visible, infra red, multi spectral and synthetic aperture radar.

(d) China is developing its own Bei Dou -2 navigational system.

(e) China successfully performed its first space walk in September 2008 from Shen Zhou – VII which was preceded by the October 2007 launch of its first lunar orbiter , the Chang'e –I

(f) In April 2008 China launched its first data relay satellite The Tian Lian - 1

Nuclear Forces

67. To enhance its strategic capability China is both qualitatively and quantitatively improving its strategic missile force3. China's nuclear arsenal currently consist of approximately 20 silo based, liquid fuelled, CSS4 ICB01SOLID FUELLED, ROAD mobile DF 31 and DF 31 A , enhanced CSS-4s, CSS-3s and JIN class SSBNs. The addition of nuclear capable forces with greater mobility and survivability combined with ballistic missile defence count3er measure will strengthen China's deterrence and enhance its strategic strike capability.

Anti Acess and Area Denial Capability


To counter third country intervention in case of local war, China is also prioritizing development of anti access and area denial capability. China is acquiring following capability ;-

(a) Capability to hold large surface ship including aircraft carriers at risk by developing quiet submarines and advanced anti ship cruise missiles.

(b) Capability to deny use of shore base4d airfields and regional logistics hub.

(c) Capability to hold air5craft at risk over or near Chinese territories.

(d) The PLA is developing air to surface China's growing presence in space is intimately related to the PLA's emerging capacity for theatre strike operations. Theatre ballistic and land attack cruise missiles, supported by space-based reconnaissance, appear likely to emerge as a cornerstone of PLA war fighting early in the 21st century.

Information Warfare

76. Chinese analysts have recognized the pivotal role information warfare will play in any future war. China has realized that it can leverage its Information Warfare (IW) capabilities to threaten superpowers by military as well as non-military means. Chinese authors have incorporated principles found in U.S. concepts for the role of Information Operations (IO) in future warfare in their publications, and there is agreement on the

understanding that information warfare encompasses the following [22]: -

(a) Obtaining intelligence on enemy military, political, economic, and cultural "targets," and to keep the enemy from acquiring intelligence on one's own similar "objectives."

(b) Destroying or jamming the enemy's C3I system, and to protect one's own C3I system.

77. However, the Chinese are very much aware that at present, they are lagging in information warfare capability. So, it is the Chinese approach to Information warfare in light of their current lagging status that is of particular importance to us.

78. Shrinking the Information Gap. Chinese analysts recommend a number of strategies for shrinking the information gap [23]: -

(a) Establishment of a strategic reconnaissance and warning system. This aspect is being taken care of by China's plans and progress in deploying reconnaissance satellites.[24]

(b) Development of information weapons systems such as air defence weapons systems, offensive tactical guided missile attack systems, electronic warfare equipment systems, and underwater mine laying systems.

(c) Building of information networks to bring all branches into a single combat network. To address this concern, China has made pioneering breakthroughs in establishing a high-speed computer network, NSFCNET, which is being trial evaluated even by Western countries.[25]

81. A `People's Information War'. Mao's concepts of `People's Wars' are sought to be juxtaposed onto the canvas of information warfare when it is visualised that `hundreds of millions of people using open type modern information systems can contribute to the information war'.[27] Some details are in the following table: -


84. The PLA is investing in electronic counter measures and computer network operations . China's computer network operations include computer network attack, computer network exploitations and computer network defense. The PLA has established information warfare units to develop virus attack on enemy computer system and tactics to protect friendly computer network. In 2005, PLA began to incorporate offensive computer network operations into its exercises.

85. Three Warfare. Imbibing lessons from technological ridden information based warfare in 2003 , China approved concept of " Three Warfare", a PLA info warfare concept aimed at influencing the psychological dimension of military activity, It includes following :-

(a) Psychological Warfare.




"Ni Da Ni De, Wo Da Wo De" (You fight your kind of war and I'll fight mine)- Mao Tse Tung.

86. China always desired to stand tall militarily and economically with a ring of nations looking upto her. Towards this end she is pursuing RMA as a vehicle for exerting greater leadership and influence specially in Asia. China rise has generated multidimensional impact. The implications have both internal and external connotation. Internally the resurgence has enthused Chinese people and instilled a new sense of pride and nationalism. The international community has taken note of the arrival of the dragons and has taken steps to accommodate and respond to Chinese emergence as new power.Various measures are being taken by western power to simultaneously contain and engage China in strategic field. Russian has sought to use China against West and redeem her lost pride.

87. The implication of rise of China due RMA can be analysed in short term, mid and long term. In the short term China is expected to maintain its quest for RMA driven technology with an aim to dominate its immediate neighbours. In the mid term and long term there are three possible scenarios :-

(a) Unipolar world.

(b) Regional power.

(c) Multipolar world.

Scenario 1 : Unipolar World.

This scenario envisages that China will continue on its path towards RMA and emerge as the strongest regional player in Asia. However, this picture depicts China as only a developed and prosperous regional power without further aspiration of super power status. This situation could emerge by USA'S success in containing China by its strategy of befriending India as well as Russia. China would try to to assert herslf in the region by trying to r5eclaim Taiwan , islands in East China Sea and India. The extent of assertiveness would depend on balance of power prevailing at that particular time and hoew effective have been RMA driven modernization. Accordingly in the final analysis of this scenario, US remains the hub of the world while a resurgent China is viewed as a subpole, striving to improve its national power.

SCENARIO 2 : Regional Competition

The second scenario envisages polarization of regional identies in Europe, Asia and America driven by strong resistance in Europe and Asia against US driven globalization.

Scenario 3 : Multipolar World .

The third scenario suggest the evolution of an international system that has multipolar world order . During this period, great rivalries will emerge among the power and may more local wars will be fought as the struggle for world leadership and supremacy will take place . The enlargement of NATO ,opposed strongly by Russia and China is another example of this struggle to redivide spheres of influence.

Most Likely Scenario

The most likely scenario that will emerge are likely to develop are of following dimensions :-

(a) The negative effect of phenomenan of globalisation are likely to cause divergence and conflict which could give rise to regionalism. This will adversaly affect China.

(b) The effectiveness of China's national, regional and international governance and steady economic growth is vital for progress. Given her track record, her acceptance in regional and international fora is under suspect.

(c) US global influence is predicted to be on the wane. While, the given trends and indicatiors point resurgence of China and India at different levels. This will be contested by US who will resort to regional alliance and pact to cxontain the same.

(d) Negatively affected by population growth, scarce resources and urban rural divide, China will fail to benefit from plus points of RMA led globalization and would therefore render herself prone to internal threats.

Though China has never officially taken the position that it is a super power or desiring to become. The public utterances by Chinese leaders in various forums should be seen as facade. The Chinese by nature are duplicitious and cunning. Deception is ingrained in their strategic culture which has been advocated by their ancient philosopher and are practiced till today.

Several factors reflect China 's self image as global power ; its size, huge population , abundant resource3s, rapid modernization, ideation considering the whole landmass of Asia as its periphery and yearningof its elite to redeem their century of humiliation. The Chinese are very focussed in their approach and have set time oriented goals.

The prognosis about China's emergence as super power will not only depend on its military capabilities but on its ability to maintain smooth internal political stability and on its foreign and diplomatic performances in the international arena to obtain desired recognition. To evaluate a country's performance in international affairsa is hazarduous as political alignment can persist for long time then change with speed or sudden change in leadership can set a nation on new and different course. Similarly economic downturn and domestic instability may result in collapse like that of Soviet Union.

On the basis of study, it may be reasonable to to prognosticate that China may emerge as global power. However, its power will be nowhere be comparable to that of the United States. The form of power she will wield would be :-

(a) It will be a democratic society under soft authoritarian rule.

(b) Militarily , it will be superior to its neighbours but will not be able to match United States.

(c) Being a non staus quo and revisionist power, China will seek to alter existing international order and particularly weaken the preponderant power of the United States first in Asia- Pacific and then in the global affairs.

(d) In the Asian regional subsystem, China may either become a belligerent power to seize resource rich island territories and secure SLOCs or it may emerge as mature benevolent hegemon.


The USA and regional nations should carve new foreign policy to deal with rising China. The world arena should not be wary of Chinese intentions, rather it must prepare to deal with Chinese capability. The world should should accept the fact that that the national interest of regional nations , China and and United States differ significantly which may lead to conflicts. Therefore, there is an immediate need to develop force structure to deal with Chinese increased military capability. The best way to ensure peaceful coexistance4 in the region is to engage China in all diplomatic, economic and regional activity. The policies should involve continuous encouragement of China's culture, economic and military interdependence with rest of the region.


As the PLA modernises, three misperception could lead to crisis. First, other countries could underestimate the extent to which PLA forces have improved.Second, China's leader could overestimate the combat potential of their forces due to advance3ment made by technology driven RMA. Third, China's leaders may fail to appreciate the effect of their decision on the security perception and the response of other regional actors. In such scenario, the policy of engagement backed up with matching military is the best method to develop strong relation with China. In addition it will smoothen the peace and stability necessary for the East Asian region to become world economic centre.



97. Strategic Perception .

Till today , Pakistan occupies the centre stage in military and political psyche of our country. However, in current scenario China is the greatest challenge to opur nation. China and India are developing economies and are sharing similar situation and opportunities . China 's RMA is the best example to such situation.It should be studied in great detail which will provide suitable ways and means for India to pursue RMA in its own way

98. India's Strategic Objective .

Chinese leaders have carved their national strategic objective and have set timeline to achieve their vision. After carving the strategic objective , China is continuously striving to achieve set goals in specified time. India should also have well defined strategic objective .. Do we want to remain a defensive nation or a we want to see ourselves increasing our role in the region ? Until and unless we we decide where we want to be in the future , we can not plan for a over all national effort in achieving it.

99. National Security Concept and Doctrines.

Any study of China immediately reveals a rich discourse on matters of national security. Issues of defence modernisation focus on force structure optimisation, even non-military combat operations; all of which flow out of the national security concept. Similarly, a cogent and dynamic national security concept is crucial for India. There should be an institutional body dedicated to constant debate and discussion on the security scenario and India's grand strategy. The National Security Council is in a position to fulfil this role. An institutionalised framework of interaction between the NSC and professional bodies inside and outside the services, such as the USI, the IDSA, the Defence expert , DSSC, and similar institutions in the Navy and Air Force should be created to ensure that debates are alive and vibrant, and new ideas are generated.

100. Military Doctrine.

We can exploit ongoing RMA only when we have military doctrine which has vision for future warfare and effectively exploits it to employ modern weapon effectively.We should take a lesson from Chinese warzone doctrine which has clear vision of future warfare and analyses how to survive in future warfarte with Chinese charecteristics.

101. Develop Strategic Allies .

Diplomatic effort to increase strategic alliance with

Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam should be encouraged. Sale of military hardware to countries like Vietnam will enable us to pay China in same coin as it is in the case of Pakistan.


102. In the earliest days of recorded history, development in technology were evolutionary and measured in decades. However, in recent years, technologies are evolving quickly and specific technology driven RMA is of very short duration . In the next 20-25 years, new technologies, such as nano technology, , MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems), robotics, exotic new weapons such as lasers and particle beams, and space [28]. These also will require major changes in structure and doctrine.Therefore, . While we concentrate to develop our capabilities in the current Revolution, we must also seriously study the emerging technologies, and be in step with the times.

108. Special Forces.

China is giving considerable stress on her special forces [29], which have actually practised defeating an enemy information network. We can take a cue from this and equip our special forces to function effectively as tools of offensive information operations. Dropped deep into enemy territory, our special forces should have the capability to damage and destroy the enemy's information networks, both by 'hard kill' and 'soft kill' methods.

109. Air.

Till now Indian thinktank always considers air as war escalating tool . There is an urgent need of changing our perception in employment of air force. There is a need to convert air force from territorial defense force to a more flexible and agile force able to operate offshore in both offensive and defensive role . Like China , the mission focus area should include enhancing strike capability, air and missile defense,early warning and reconnaissance and strategic mobility.. We must strive to procure force multipliers such as AWACS, and develop the capability for air refuelling to enhance the capabilities of our aircraft. Research on stealth technology must be given a boost. As developing a stealth aircraft per se may be a costly proposition at the moment, we must take a leaf out of the Chinese efforts [30] and develop anti stealth technology.

110. Navy.

Indian Navy should develop " Blue Water Navy' capability to safeguard national interest from China in Indian Ocean Region and be prepared to meet future challenges of PLAN in Indian Ocean. The Indian Navy has already integrated Information Warfare [31], whereby it seeks to network its ships, shore establishments and support bases in a Navy Enterprise Wide Network (NEWN), to ultimately seamlessly link the entire Navy. India should take a cue from Chinese quest for seeking area denial and anti access capability at sea by giving importance to development of nuclear submarines and having own research and development programme.

109. Jointness.

We will have to go far above the present day practice of jointmanship. In the true sense, jointness must also be practised in resources. For instance, if the Navy can give coastal gunfire support, preponderance of field artillery may not be required. If a couple of aircraft can destroy an objective with precision strikes, overwhelming ground forces may not be required.

112. Missiles.

We must continue with the development of long range, increasingly accurate missiles, as they will remain a potent deterrent even for the most technologically advanced opponents.

113. Space.

DRDO has been doing a marvellous job in space research. The launching of the Technology Experimental Satellite (TES) on 22 October 2001 gives us enhanced reconnaissance capabilities[33] further bolsters our communication capabilities. While these satellites certainly afford dual use opportunities, we must endeavour to launch a military satellite in the near future.

114. Playing to Own Strengths - Information Warfare.

Our culture and history have gifted us, as a people, a high degree of mathematical aptitude. Specifically, number crunching is our forte. And that is exactly the quality required in the brahmastra[34] of the latest round of RMA - Information Technology. The entire world today acknowledges our expertise in Information technology. We must strive to make it our 'niche' speciality, to make our own version of a Revolution in Military Affairs. If we are serious about leveraging our latent talent in Information Technology, the following aspects require urgent and immediate attention: -

(a) Training.

No amount of Information Technology or intelligent weapons can infuse an RMA if the users are shy of exploiting the same. The large numbers of computers already inundating the defence forces will be useless if they do not lead to more efficient armed forces. In this context, the Chinese approach to training has its merits. Three levels of training on Chines lines are a must: -

(i) The Essentials. Officers in the age bracket 40-50, ie the current decision makers, must be made alive to the nuances of Information Technology, so that they can function in an IT enabled environment. Essentials can be imparted in courses like the Higher Command Course and the National Defence College.

(ii) The Next Commanders.

For officers of the age bracket 30 – 40 years, training must fill in the lessons missed in college, and the officers' ability to command in IW environments must be enhanced. Training should be imparted at the DSSC/TSOC, Senior Command and allied levels.

(iii) The Fresh Generation.

This involves officers aged 30 or less. The focus for them should be both command and technology, and they should receive advanced IW training. More and more officers should be BEs/BTechs at the inception stage of training academies like the NDA.

(b) IW.

(i) Defensive IW needs to be given top priority..

(ii) Interaction with professional institutions dealing with IT should increase. We should hire there expertise.Officers need to be trained in offensive IW in these institutions.

(iii) A Net Force. Like China India should develop its own net force which should have civilian as well as armed forces expertise.. Taking a cue from the mass mobilisation exercises conducted by China on the Internet,[35] India should carry out similar exercises of her own.

(iv) IW Exercises. On the military front, we must integrate Information Warfare Exercises, which China has been carrying out for some time.

Asymmetric Capability

The concept of

'unrestricted warfare', including even terrorism, is not new to India; it is only that the concept has not been formalised. Pakistan has for decades been bleeding India by asymmetric warfare, by state sponsored terrorism. With reference to India's efforts at an RMA, the following points stand out: -



The scourge of terrorism is likely to afflict our nation for a long time to come. A terrorist war may become the only means for rogue states and extremist political groups to fight against RMA superiority. Counter terrorism can receive a facelift by the information revolution by means of info isolation of the terrorists from their mentors from across the border, info starvation through gateways and filters, and info saturation through overload and spin.[36] However, the RMA will, at best, be limited in neutralising the terrorist tactics and may actually provide incentives for their proliferation. Therefore, counter terrorism will continue to be human intelligence and manpower intensive. force that is more manpower intensive to fight insurgency. The Rashtriya Rifles can perform this role suitably.


Computer Hacking Threats.

A joint armed forces computer emergency team should be formed to deal with computer hacking, cyber terrorism etc on military institutions by non-state actors.


Enthusing the National Polity.

In turn, the Indian polity must be made alive to the concept of non-combat military operations. The fact that the distinction between the frontline and the rear is blurring increasingly has to be acknowledged. We must accept non-combat military operations in our lexicon, and then remain vigilant to the threats that terrorism, finance, net wars, trade embargos, and even environmental wars pose to us. At the same time, leveraging the opportunity afforded by non-combat military operations will give us the necessary space essential for fighting a technologically superior enemy at a later date.

Defence Industry Interface

117. A mechanism of a defence-industry interface must be created to act as a sounding board to the industry about the direction the armed forces are going to take, and industry must be made a partner in the Revolution in Indian Military Affairs. As technology drives the engine of change, we will increasingly rely of Commercial Off- the

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