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Active Defense: China's Military Strategy since 1949

M. Taylor Fravel



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Princeton University Pres
23 April 2019
History; Military history; Political science & theory; Marxism & Communism; International relations; Military tactics
What changes in China's modern military policy reveal about military organizations and strategy Since the 1949 Communist Revolution, China has devised nine different military strategies, which the People's Liberation Army (PLA) calls strategic guidelines. What accounts for these numerous changes? Active Defense offers the first systematic look at China's military strategy from the mid-twentieth century to today. Exploring the range and intensity of threats that China has faced, M. Taylor Fravel illuminates the nation's past and present military goals and how China sought to achieve them, and offers a rich set of cases for deepening the study of change in military organizations.

Drawing from diverse Chinese-language sources, including memoirs of leading generals, military histories, and document collections that have become available only in the last two decades, Fravel shows why transformations in military strategy were pursued at certain times and not others. He focuses on the military strategies adopted in 1956, 1980, and 1993-when the PLA was attempting to wage war in a new kind of way-to show that China has pursued major change in its strategic guidelines when there has been a significant shift in the conduct of warfare in the international system and when China's Communist Party has been united.

Delving into the security threats China has faced over the last seven decades, Active Defense offers a detailed investigation into how and why states alter their defense policies.
By:   M. Taylor Fravel
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Volume:   2
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   666g
ISBN:   9780691152134
ISBN 10:   0691152136
Series:   Princeton Studies in International History and Politics
Pages:   396
Publication Date:   23 April 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

M. Taylor Fravel is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and a member of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Strong Borders, Secure Nation (Princeton). Twitter @fravel

Reviews for Active Defense: China's Military Strategy since 1949

Meticulously analyzes China's military strategy since 1945 . . . . A classic that is likely to have great long-term influence . . . . In this unstable environment, Professor Fravel's book could hardly be timelier. ---Chas. W. Freeman, Jr, Book Post This is the first book to provide a comprehensive history of China's military doctrine as it has evolved since the founding of the People's Republic. ---Andrew J. Nathan, Foreign Affairs This book is an outstanding contribution to the canon on Chinese military and strategic affairs . . . . Fravel's new book is an instant classic and a mandatory reference source. I would recommend this volume to students of Chinese foreign policy, international relations, and military affairs without reservation. ---James Mulvenon, China Quarterly

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