The sword arm of the Communist Party of China(CCP), the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has been at the forefront in extendingthe Peoples Republic of China (PRC)’s geo-political and geo-strategic reacharound the periphery of the Han Heartland. It has formed a very essential partof CCP’s strategy.
Theone constant that has stayed this entire course since 1949, and been the basisfor successive strategic guidelines, has been the concept of Active Defence, as enunciated by Mao TseTung -a strategic defensive posture, but using offensive means to achievedecisive ends – essentially an Offensive Defence strategy.
In its march towardsa full spectrum domination of Asia, China needs to secure its heartland and itscore interests in the region from land, sea, air, space, cyber, diplomatic,economical and commercial threats. The PLA would play a major role in this and insupporting Xi’s push to achieve an ‘integration or the CNP of theneighbourhood with itself’ – an umbilical connect that would not be easilydisrupted, thereby enabling Xi to establish ‘Great Power Diplomacy’ withChinese Characteristics, with USA and the West.
This has a directbearing on India, as China views it as its main competitor for space in theregion. As it becomes more strong, both militarily and economically, China willnot countenance India’s strategic autonomy and be more aggressive to containIndia. In this it already has a willing ally in Pakistan,which it would preferto utilise covertly in the near to medium term, if needed – the period it needsto strengthen its ‘shi’. The currentflux caused due to the restructuring and reorganisation of the PLA at alllevels provides India with some elbow room for the modernisation andrestructuring of its own Armed Forces to successfully prosecute the futurewars.
This monograph assesses the PLA restructuringsince the 1980s that set the platform for converting it into a modern force andthe current ongoing far-reaching reforms under Xi Jinping. In the light ofgrowing geo-strategic, geo-economic and geo-political assertiveness by China inthe Indo-Pacific Region and its implications for India and providerecommendations for the Indian military, to include the Higher DefenceOrganisation and Armed Forces restructuring..