China Military : Is The PLA Up To The Challenge?

An analysis of the actual fighting capability of PLA and its likely effectiveness in battle.

6 responses to “China Military : Is The PLA Up To The Challenge?”

  1. General

    Really think you should watch these three videos from Lei’s channel of a Chinese Navy Lt. Colonel who defected. There are subtitles to follow.

    Ten minute clips. Informative. Some things Col.Yao Cheng says are known and others come as a surprise. The interview was in Aug ’21 with a Taiwanese TV channel


    The three weaknesses of the PLA
    a) Corruption. The PLAN does not listen to XJP because he purged many Naval officers. Note how it is the PLA-AF that does incursions into Taiwan space, not the PLAN.

    b) Factional infighting. A new CCP boss comes in and gets rid of officers loyal to the previous CCP boss. The result is now none of them wants to be loyal to the new boss.

    c) The two systems, political commissar & military. A battalion has a battalion chief and a political instructor. The commissar’s job is to spy on the officer.

    In terms of combat, the officer is restricted. Say he wants to capture a hill for military reasons, the commissar is political does not understand combat and wants to impose political things into combat. So it’s impossible to fight in a battle.

    This has a direct bearing on what you said about what we face with the PLA
    i) the fight is driven by political objectives driven rather than military objectives. So we need to anticipate what those political objectives might be.

    ii) think you mentioned in passing that when we captured Kailash heights, the PLA commander on the ground was ordered to retake the heights. When he
    radioed back that there was an Indian brigade up there and to do so would be suicide he was relieved of his post. Ties in with what Col. Yao said.

    The only PLA officers that can win on the battlefield are those that assume both roles of military commander & political commissar.

    Otherwise, the officer reports to the commissar because the CCP leads the military and is more important. Unlike the Soviet system where the commissar reported to the officer.

  2. 2)

    The Colonel concurs with you that it’s too hard to take Taiwan. The idea is to blockade trade and cause an economic collapse.

    To bomb Taiwan would mean there is nothing to rule over. So CCP taking Taiwan by force is just a verbal threat.

    Did you know Deng established a three-step maritime strategy in 1992
    i) Liberate Taiwan by 2005
    ii) Break through the first island chain by 2010, the second island chain by 2020 and the third island chain by 2030 this is the region upto Hawaii
    ii) China controls the ocean west of Hawaii

    Interesting that Deng made these statements whose deadlines have passed because XJP is repeating his own version.

    The first battle of Taiwan isn’t to take Taiwan but to drive the Americans out beyond the first island chain. The CCP’s current strategic focus is the SCS which is its lifeblood. The Taiwan straits are not.

    If the first island chain including Taiwan, is sealed off and the SCS is divided up by others then China will become a landlocked country without access to the sea.

    This is why the CCP puts the majority of its forces into the SCS. The size of the South sea fleet is the total of North & East sea fleets combined. If the CCP gets into a conflict with the US, it will be in the SCS, not the Taiwan strait.

    These are great points which many commentators, particularly political commentators are not getting.

    He mentions China has tactical nukes which I’ve never heard of before. I don’t believe China has any tactical nukes. Not compatible with their nuclear doctrine which is the same as ours.

  3. 3)

    So why did the good Lt. Colonel defect?

    He was tasked with stealing a Russian anti-submarine helicopter. From Laos. But the Russians found out and after the mission, he was sent to prison for seven years to placate the Russians.

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