Is the PLA's main Ground Force modernisation phase complete?


SampanViking

The Capitalist
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This is a question that I ask after reading this article in ATOL a week or so ago

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There is a lot of interesting stuff contained in it, but this in particular caught my eye.

Taking the analysis one step further, Xu Guangyu, a retired PLA major general now with the government think-tank China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA), believes that China can achieve these transformative goals with a budgetary allocation among China's army, navy and air force at a 50:25:25 ratio, representing a shift from the current 60:20:20 ratio.

Xu does not see a 40:30:30 ratio since he believes that China's naval and air power will "mostly be used to enhance the combat effectiveness of our [China's] ground forces". Xu's statement seems to imply that the PLA - at least for the time being - is not emulating American global power projection capabilities supported and enabled by US military budgets that have in recent years allocated resources among the army, navy and air force roughly along a 40:30:30 ratio [1].
China is a land power first and foremost with most of its borders being land borders and the need to interdict and stop opposing land forces its primary concern. IT would make sense therefore to make sure that land force modernisation was the primary objective, leaving Air and Sea to the later stages.

I believe that the ratios given (assuming to be true) are a measure that the cost of re-equipping and re-training the bulk of the Army is now complete and that there is now a larger proportion of the growing budget pie to allocate to serious navy and airforce modernisation.

Thoughts?
 
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MwRYum

Captain
China traditionally is a land power but recently moving towards naval and air arms because historically proven time and again these would decide the general outcome before the land warfare begins, but given the needed budget + skilled manpower + technologies that those 2 arms required to be effective, that's why the move has been slow until now.

And from land, only after the fall of Soviet Union that China can breathe a sigh of relief, with Russia fell to less than the shadow of what it used to be; the change of economic model and integration into the global market that China needs to secure the sea lanes and underwater resources for its long-term national interest.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
I am more than a little skeptical about the general's numbers and assessment. The only way his numbers would even come close is if he included the second artillary with the army, otherwise i struggle to see how the army can account for 60% of the budget when they have very little to show for it. Wages in China does not coat THAT much.

China is focusing on the navy and air force, and the second artillary is a very specialist force that should not be forced into the 'army' classification.

The air force and navy are very much the kings of the hill. They get the big budgets to buy fancy new toys while the army can not afford to use the type99 as their main tank and instead settled for the typw 96.
 

Maggern

Junior Member
I am more than a little skeptical about the general's numbers and assessment. The only way his numbers would even come close is if he included the second artillary with the army, otherwise i struggle to see how the army can account for 60% of the budget when they have very little to show for it. Wages in China does not coat THAT much.

China is focusing on the navy and air force, and the second artillary is a very specialist force that should not be forced into the 'army' classification.

The air force and navy are very much the kings of the hill. They get the big budgets to buy fancy new toys while the army can not afford to use the type99 as their main tank and instead settled for the typw 96.
Well they have a HUGE amount of equipment that has to be maintained, and I'm sure there's a lot of exercises. Keeping over 2 million men fed, clothed and occupied also takes its toll. The ground force remains a massive organization, one of the largest in the world, and China still doesn't have THAT big budgets. Though it could of course be that the general includes some other service branches into "army", like SAC or PAP..
 

sidewinder01

Junior Member
Well they have a HUGE amount of equipment that has to be maintained, and I'm sure there's a lot of exercises. Keeping over 2 million men fed, clothed and occupied also takes its toll. The ground force remains a massive organization, one of the largest in the world, and China still doesn't have THAT big budgets. Though it could of course be that the general includes some other service branches into "army", like SAC or PAP..[/QUOTE

PLAwolf, the pay for a PLA officer now are now quite high, which is why even all the university graduates are enlisting. The average pay for a normal Platoon commander is "one strip, 2 stars" is 3500 to 4000, and that is pay without anything else, and there are many other benefits that come with it as well. Second of all, a huge bulk of the budget is wasted sadly.... For example, there are estimated 6.5 million government funded cars and drivers funded by the government for higher officals... together the fee of paying and maintaining those cars and their drivers is higher than the entire budget of the PLA. The same thing happens in the PLA, a lot of budget are being used for the personal benefits of the officals, such as buying nice cars and hiring drivers etc...and also in eating fancy meals, entertainment, and corruption..... Its always been like this in China, for thousands of years........
 

plawolf

Brigadier
That is old news, plenty of new rules and restrictions have been introduced to all public sector employees that massively cut the things you can claim for. Seriously, i can now claim for more things with my Uk based international than my father working for the government in China.

Something else to take into account is that the PLA is suprisingly self sufficient. A huge proportion of the PLA's troops come from farming backgrounds, and that knowledge and experience is put to good use. The PLA grows a huge proportion of their own food. Many units used to be more than self sufficent and were even selling their extra produce on the open market until that was banned.
 

sidewinder01

Junior Member
That is old news, plenty of new rules and restrictions have been introduced to all public sector employees that massively cut the things you can claim for. Seriously, i can now claim for more things with my Uk based international than my father working for the government in China.

Something else to take into account is that the PLA is suprisingly self sufficient. A huge proportion of the PLA's troops come from farming backgrounds, and that knowledge and experience is put to good use. The PLA grows a huge proportion of their own food. Many units used to be more than self sufficent and were even selling their extra produce on the open market until that was banned.
That is old news, most units no longer have farming and pig feeding dedicated soldiers anymore like that old days, most of the food were bought from reliabled sources on the market... and the restrictions you talking about is very useless in power-holding government departments, for example my uncle works for state-owned electric powerplants, he is merely a 处长 and yet he have a brand new audi a6, and all his fellow 处长does as well... the state paid the vechicles and they can drive it at anytime.. and they all have a driver. Why do you think China is still so corrupt if those restriction really works, like my uncle send his kid over to the States for college, the average cost is around 50000 dollars + a year.. and his yearly income is no more than 200000 yuan..
 
That is old news, most units no longer have farming and pig feeding dedicated soldiers anymore like that old days, most of the food were bought from reliabled sources on the market... and the restrictions you talking about is very useless in power-holding government departments, for example my uncle works for state-owned electric powerplants, he is merely a 处长 and yet he have a brand new audi a6, and all his fellow 处长does as well... the state paid the vechicles and they can drive it at anytime.. and they all have a driver. Why do you think China is still so corrupt if those restriction really works, like my uncle send his kid over to the States for college, the average cost is around 50000 dollars + a year.. and his yearly income is no more than 200000 yuan..
Is corruption still widespread in PLA ? If it is the case, Hu will need to act sooner rather than later. Corruption is the source of the collapse of all civilization .... Rome, Ming, Yuan, etc
 

solarz

Brigadier
Is corruption still widespread in PLA ? If it is the case, Hu will need to act sooner rather than later. Corruption is the source of the collapse of all civilization .... Rome, Ming, Yuan, etc
Actually, Yuan's collapse was due to its genocidal tyrannical rule. When you try to conduct a genocide against a people that outnumbers you 100 to 1, it usually doesn't end well, for you.
 

lcloo

Junior Member
Navy plays important defence role in modern China, the 19th and 20th century proves that intruders with strong navy easily plied open the gate into China, there are so many examples, the Opium wars, the Naval battle of Yalu river mouth between Imperial Japan and Qing Dynasty, Western gunboats in up-river of Yangtze river, etc etc.


And Air assets are even more important than ever before, ships are at the mercy of long range stand-off weapons if they do not have area defence SAM coverage.

At this time, China's modernization is only half way through, until all oboselete weapons in army (eg T-55 tanks), Navy (old destroyers, frigates and submarines), and airforce (J-7,J-8) have been replaced, only then can we said the modernization completion is done.
 

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