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Home > Catalogue > China's Use of Military Force
China's Use of Military Force


  • 1 map
  • Page extent: 316 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.566 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 355/.033051
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: UA835 .S3797 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • China--Military policy
    • China--History, Military--1949-

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521819794 | ISBN-10: 0521819792)

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US $113.00
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In this 2003 study of China's militarism, Andrew Scobell examines the use of military force abroad - as in Korea (1950), Vietnam (1979), and the Taiwan Strait (1995–6) - and domestically, as during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and in the 1989 military crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Debunking the view that China has become increasingly belligerent in recent years because of the growing influence of soldiers, Scobell concludes that China's strategic culture has remained unchanged for decades. Nevertheless, the author uncovers the existence of a 'Cult of Defense' in Chinese strategic culture. The author warns that this 'Cult of Defense' disposes Chinese leaders to rationalize all military deployment as defensive, while changes in the People's Liberation Army's doctrine and capabilities over the past two decades suggest that China's twenty-first century leaders may use military force more readily than their predecessors.

• Contains the most detailed and up-to-date analyses of the military crackdown of June 1989 and of the military's intervention in the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s • Uses a 'layer of culture' approach to interpret China's use of military force • Examines the 'cult of defense' of China's military leaders that paradoxically disposes them to use offensive force


Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. Layers of Culture: 2. The Chinese cult of defense; 3. Bringing in the military; Part II. Use of Force in the Mao Era: 4. Lips and teeth: China's decision to intervene in Korea; 5. Support the Left: PLA intervention in the Cultural Revolution; Part III. Use of Force in the Deng Era: 6. A self-defense counterattack: China's 1979 war with Vietnam; 7. Why the People's Army fired on the people: Beijing, 1989; Part IV. Use of Force in the Post-Deng Era: 8. Show of force: the 1995–6 Taiwan Strait crisis; 9. Conclusion: explaining China's use of force.


'He has carefully selected historical cases to support his theoretical point, and his narrative is not cluttered with political science jargon and terminologies. … he skilfully and effectively adduces historical facts to buttress his theoretical framework. His examination and explanation of China's application of force is thought-provoking and highly revealing.' China Information

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