Understanding China's Military Strategy

Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is Senior Fellow at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. Her areas of research include US foreign and security policy, military strategies of major Asian powers including China, United States, Japan and Russia, and US missile defence issues. She can be reached at
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  • November 2008

    Chinese military modernization and its resulting aggressive posturing have serious implications for Asian stability and Indian security. This article is an attempt to understand the main security challenges from a Chinese perspective; the kind of responses, especially military, that China has undertaken; and the way Chinese military strategy has evolved from Mao's People's War days to a modern hi-tech military force today. In the short run Chinese military objectives appear focused on finding ways to defeat the United States in the event of a conflict between the two countries, possibly over Taiwan. But the long-term consequences of Chinese strategy remain uncertain, at least partly because the rise of China, on which that military power will depend, is itself difficult to predict with certainty.