In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. David Finkelstein joins us to discuss the PLA’s new joint doctrine and how it will impact China’s military modernization. Dr. Finkelstein describes his research process behind his new report and predicts the major new components of the doctrine. He argues that the concept of an integrated joint force represents a major doctrinal development within the PLA and is a response to a paradigm shift in how warfighting is conducted in an information-centric era. In addition, Dr. Finkelstein emphasizes how the joint doctrine will enhance the PLA’s abilities to engage in all types of military operations, including high-end conventional operations. Lastly, Dr. Finkelstein analyzes the possible internal and external challenges the PLA will face when implementing the new doctrine, and how this timeline aligns with China’s military modernization goals for 2027, 2035, and 2049.
Dr. Finkelstein is a vice president of the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) and director of CNA’s China & Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division. He is a long-time student of Chinese military and security issues, serving as a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). A retired US Army Officer, Dr. Finkelstein has spent his career in several tactical assignments, to include in Panmunjom, Korea, and in various China and Asia-related positions at the Pentagon, and has taught Chinese security issues at West Point. He is the author of “The PLA’s New Joint Doctrine: The Capstone of the New Era Operations Regulations System.”