In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Mr. Roderick Lee joins us to discuss the state of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as it marks its 95th anniversary. He lays out President Xi Jinping’s unique relationship with the military, discussing Xi’s personal affiliation with the PLA early in his career and the reforms of the PLA Xi has enacted as President. Mr. Lee argues that current PLA exercises near Taiwan are part of a “textbook” PLA deterrence strategy meant to demonstrate PLA capabilities and intimidate Taiwan. He notes that despite the unprecedented PLA escalation, Beijing has demonstrated restraint and seeks to avoid a full confrontation. Lastly, Mr. Lee comments on the long-term impacts of the ongoing PLA exercises, believing that they will provide strong insights into the PLA, its strategy, and its capabilities going forward.
Mr. Roderick Lee is the Director of research at the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) at Air University. Prior to joining CASI, Mr. Lee served as an analyst with the United States Navy covering Chinese naval forces.
The views expressed are those of the speaker and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.