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The Chinese Army Today: Tradition and Transformation for the 21st Century (Asian Security Studies) Paperback – January 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0415770033 ISBN-10: 0415770033 Edition: New

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Product Details

  • Series: Asian Security Studies
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition (January 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415770033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415770033
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,530,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Dennis Blasko has written the definitive study of China’s ground forces, but this book also illuminates many other aspects of China’s military today. The author brings to this assessment a career worth of knowledge and experience in the U.S. Army, as a specialist on the Chinese military. Few, if any, know the Chinese army better than Blasko. His judgements are careful and nuanced, his research and sources are thorough, and his presentation is comprehensive—all necessary correctives to the frequent media hype on the subject. A ‘must read’ for anyone seeking to understand the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its impact on Asian security and U.S. national security interests.' - David Shambaugh, George Washington University, USA 

'Probably the most complete, best referenced and most accurate analysis available of the ground forces of the PLA … It should be part of the library of any scholar or analyst of the Chinese military.’The China Journal

'Blasko's book is an authoritative primer on the PLA for national security professionals. His background as an Army intelligence officer and China foreign area officer, and his intimate knowledge of primary sources enable him to provide thoughtful analysis. His book should be on every PACOM officer's 'must read' list.' - Military Review

‘This is an excellent introduction to the PLA and can serve as a starting point for

any scholar interested in China’s modern military. It will also be an excellent tool for

orienting professionals who may be working in the area. ..The

Chinese Army Today makes a valuable contribution to the challenging area of PLA

studies.’ Jerremie Clyde, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies

 

About the Author

Dennis J. Blasko is an Independent Analyst and former Senior Military Fellow, National Defense University and former Military Attaché in Beijing, China and Hong Kong.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrstupid on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Blasko reiterates a lot of basic doctrine available in known Chinese military literature. The big service here is that Blasko provides a summary for people who can't read modern Mandarin Chinese.

The ORBAT information is highly useful for those interested in the PLA ground force's structure.

This book feels more like a primer reference for the PLA. I had expected more cultural insight and comparative analysis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Duvernois TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an authoritative work and the current standard volume for western military professionals looking at the Chinese military. For the more casual reader interested in a feel for the PLA, including its history, but without a lot of currency, I'd recommend Dragons Teeth Inside Chinas Armed Forces which includes some good images (though the author gets a bit fixated on women in the Chinese army).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The China Army Today will serve as an indispensable reference for anyone researching or writing about Chinese military affairs until the next major PLA reorganization. The book contains an excellent mix of analysis and factual accounting of the PLA. Do you want to know where the 40th Group Army is located and what units compose it? How does the PLA conceive of campaigns? How has military doctrine developed? What is the PLA's place in China today? From the granular to the systemic, Dennis Blasko provides readers with authoritative answers or guides for how to research and think about the PLA on its own terms and in its own words.

The book is organized in a thoughtful, systematic manner addressing the PLA in the manner of Rudyard Kipling's poetic line: "I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who." Readers will find well-sourced guides to PLA units, equipment, doctrinal development, training, civil-military relations, and the general thrust of Chinese military modernization. The author's extensive use of Chinese-language sources shows there is more information available on the PLA than many people are aware. This attention to detail also will give reader a better sense of where the PLA's lack of transparency actually lies. Indeed, some of the most useful parts of the book are where Blasko discusses the gaps in foreign knowledge of the PLA that cannot be easily resolved. For example, in his discussion of the Chinese defense budget (pp. 10-13), Blasko addresses the sources of information on China's defense budget, what Beijing has revealed (and failed to include), and what observers would like to know.
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