Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Maoist Drag on China’s Military

The Maoist Drag on China’s Military

To achieve “First World’ military capabilities and a sharper focus on international security, China’s three-million-man army needs a major overhaul. China’s central leadership admits that the lion’s share of its current defense budget is being wasted on masses of poorly trained surplus soldiers who would either be slaughtered or else never reach any battlefield if confronted by a modern, well-equipped enemy. “Cut troop expenditures, take more money for our weaponry,” said Deng Xiaoping in an often requoted statement, and many Chinese leaders today echo Deng’s belief that the air force, navy, and light weaponry should receive higher priority.

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