“Hegemony” or Protecting the Home Country? The Chinese People’s Liberation Army at 90 years on.











There has been lots of talk in the press about the increasing influences of the Chinese administration and especially concerning its military in the far – reaching Asia – Pacific region since about the time the Yuan was more or less put on a free – floating regime vis – a – vis other world currencies.  The Chinese know themselves as other people in the world do that the military itself depends sometimes delicately on an entire symphony of factors – socioeconomic, demographic, cultural, scientific and commercial also, and others – and the recent military muscle of the PLA that has become apparent is the result of some years’ planning on the part of the current P.R.C. president and premier and the People’s Congress in Bei jing.  It has never been clear to this narrator why, for example, in this modern age of mutually assured [atomic] destruction, non – nuclear weapons of mass destruction, the armies as they are maintained by national budgets and so forth to be used to resolve conflicts (even conflicts between man and nature such as flood, quake, monsoon and typhoon, etc.) – why the government departments in many countries that supervise military missions are so bloated and overblown.  This is apparently all under the guise of preparedness and combat readiness, and the ability to win wars, especially in repulsing the efforts at invasion, for example the P.R.C. military believes in at this time.  The PLA also apparently has headline policies around responding to provocation and rallying to defend the people, serving the people and the like.  These values are adequate maybe under those of the cultural revolution and have been headline values of the PLA, apparently again, since the opening of China in the 1970’s – the response to democracy movements, human rights movements, Falun Gong, and incidents at the forbidden city have been part and parcel of this.  Though the PLA in this way, with its human precision and greatly – trained manpower, with this has more the aura of an invasive and intrusive police force, and the mission as well of the army in intelligence gathering and expanding Chinese policy contacts and networks overseas is apparent under PLA sponsorship at the same time :  One might remark that the most culturally and politically friendly of states and allies have these sorts of threads running through their youth cultures especially.  The youth culture in many countries, with its different and adventurous travels, voyages and stories lived, and ideals about the the status quos everywhere and change, has always been grounds upon which individuals expressed themselves freely about society’s institutions in the home territories, how they are similar and different and the like.  This is normal and these sorts of exchanges have always proved to bring about progress and policy innovations, as well as changing politics and the home rule everywhere.

The world is far from a rosy place, to paraphrase Xi Jin ping of China in his latest talk about the PLA, and in order to assure the continuance of the peaceful home rule in P.R.C., safeguarding the peace at the interior and in foreign regions nearby on land and on the Pacific seas at least appears to be the openly stated military policy of the country right now.  Many people are very dissatisfied that the P.R.C. leadership literally does not corral the DPRK regime into abating its offensive missiles program, especially those missiles possibly and probably that in any escalated conflict will carry nuclear ordinance.  The failing of China here is not to have brought down the militarism of North Korea, but to not have stated openly that it does not interfere in Asia – Pacific affairs where not wanted and not required.  This is a good example of a ‘soft – power’ doctrine that pervaded politics in years past to today that has the PLA and its air and naval forces flexing their muscles at home while essentially reviewing and acting to stabilize the overall state of military affairs in Asia – Pacific.  This sort of work, and by a very large fighting force that needs resources and needs to be fed, is rife with problems including interpretations as to the overall will, good or ill, about the modernization and reform of the P.R.C. military (J20, rockets, aircraft carrier), to the reliance on the PLA for UN peacekeeping missions, and missions to keep peace, or essentially to preserve the peace in areas of conflict.  The current showing of the PLA and its various accessories is purported to be focused on the home rule at this point, and without regionally hegemonistic nor other foreign – oriented defense goals.  Should this prove to be true over time, the power of the PLA when compared neutrally with the Red Army of the Russian Federation and forces of various countries including India and Pakistan in South Asia, could prove to be a boon to world peace as a regional, continental and international status quo.

Founded after the Nanjing uprising in 1927, the PLA has no dearth of heroes and human icons, though this in great part, while respectable to communists is not greatly regarded in the West.  Knowing a few of these for everyone might build bridges over cultural and socioeconomic venues and questions, though there is no real authoritative history of the PLA anywhere, for example, in the U.S.  One drawback of this is the army in China is given the mission overall of serving the people and at times, as with the Red Guards of old, does the people a disservice in all its elitist planning and rank and file.  That communists might be accused of elitism is an oxymoron, though this appears to be the case in a military that is structured on if not duplicative, though this is changing, of the soviet style of the role of the military during the 1980’s – 2000’s.  This all shows that the PLA is more than anthems and slogans, something considerable and possibly counterbalancing the Russian Federation in the Asia – Pacific region right now.


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