As the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to emphasize the need to raise the quality of its personnel, analyzing the recruitment, education and training of the officer corps becomes all the more important for assessing Chinese military modernization, especially for the technology-dependent PLA Air Force (PLAAF). Based on the available information, it is unclear whether the PLAAF has succeeded in reforming officer recruitment, education and training to build a more highly-educated officer corps capable of commanding, operating and supporting a growing high-tech force in a combined-arms and joint environment. It is clear however that a number of challenges remain, including limited opportunities for joint training in the academy and a lack of centralized management.
PLAAF officers come from military academic institutions, a Defense Student (Reserve Officer) Program and direct recruitment of civilian graduates. The PLAAF, which has multiple officer academic institutions, separates its education and training system at each level (cadet, basic, intermediate and advanced) based on the five officer career tracks: military/command, political, logistics, equipment and special technical. Whereas all PLAAF academic institution graduates receive their specialty training as a cadet, Defense Students and directly recruited graduates must receive their specialty training after graduation. In addition, almost all new officers serve a one-year probationary period and must serve at least eight years before leaving the military. Read the rest of this entry »
Today we look at the classical approach to geopolitics in relation to China. There are those who would very much like to contain this growing geopolitical power, but there are very real impediments in the way – e.g., an economy expected to become the world’s largest in the coming decades, a lengthy coastline that cannot be ‘landlocked’ by containment-minded foes, and a growing ‘blue water’ naval capability. The latter development, of course, is of special interest to those nations that populate the broader Indian Ocean area. In the following STRATFOR conversation, it is also of interest to George Friedman and Robert Kaplan, who discuss China’s far reaching bid for sea power and its geopolitical implications. Read the rest of this entry »
JHELUM, Pakistan — The Pakistani and Chinese attack choppers swoop low across the valley, strafing a mock terrorist hideout and a bomb-making factory. Then a joint commando team storms the camp — to the gentle applause of top brass from both nations watching from the stands.
The fact that such a drill is needed reflects a new concern troubling their long-standing alliance: Chinese militants along the Afghan border allegedly aiding separatism in China and plotting terrorist attacks there
Countries around the world, especially the U.S., share Chinese concerns about Pakistan’s militant-infested tribal regions, but few get the same kind of public commitment of help as Beijing. It’s a legacy of China’s oft-hailed “all-weather friendship” with Pakistan.
Anti-terror cooperation is the latest example of the special relationship between the neighboring countries.
China’s good will is vital to Pakistan: China is its largest defense supplier, and it has helped construct two nuclear reactors. Chinese investments help keep the Pakistani economy afloat. Read the rest of this entry »