One of the salient dimensions of China’s rise in the post–Cold War has been the high-pace modernization of the PLA. According to figures collected by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China’s military expenditures have been multiplied by more than eight – in real terms – over the last two decades. This enormous increase of resources has allowed China to considerably improve the quality of its armed forces, turning an obsolescent PLA into a force increasingly capable of fighting and prevailing in a local war under high-tech/informationized conditions. This chapter examines the progress made by the PLA in the context of a potential clash between Beijing and Washington, which, in all likelihood, would mainly – if not exclusively – be fought over the ‘commons’ – the sea, the air, space and cyberspace. China has substantially enhanced capacity to deny control of the commons, while it has been, at the same time, striving to build a limited capacity to control the commons for its own purposes.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of US-China relations|
|Editors||Andrew T.H. Tan|
|Place of Publication||Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, USA|
|Publisher||Edward Elgar Publishing|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2016|