China's Military: A Second Opinion

An article in the last issue claimed that China's military is a hollow force. The facts, two other China experts argue, are otherwise.

Issue: Fall 1999

In their recent article in the pages of The National Interest ("China's Hollow Military", Summer 1999), Bates Gill and Michael O'Hanlon write that "China's military is simply not very good." We think they got that half right. China is no military superpower and will not acquire that status for some years to come. But measured in terms of its capacity to challenge key U.S. allies in East Asia, China's capabilities have grown exponentially. That is the point; the authors miss it.

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