Debating China's 'RMA-Driven Military Modernization': Implications for India

Dr Jagannath P. Panda was Research Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • March 2009

    This article intends to examine the notion of 'Revolution in Military Affairs' (RMA) in China and how the People's Liberation Army (zhongguo renmin jiefangjun) is thrusting RMA initiatives on its modernization programme. It sheds light on the issue of China's 'RMA-Driven Military Modernization' programme and situates the effect of these initiatives in the Indian context. However, the core argument of this article is that the term RMA extends beyond the classical military connotation, forming 'Chinese characteristics' - revolving around China's overall socio-political and national objectives. This article would argue that RMA serves as a central linkage between China's evolving thought process on future warfare, overcoming the deficiencies in technological weapons in comparatively primitive branches of the PLA, and as an approach to strengthening China's Comprehensive National Power (zongheacute guoacuteligrave) status.