| Backgrounder: Modernizing the People’s Liberation Army of China

As the commander in chief of the massive People’s Liberation Army (PLA), President Hu Jintao plans to reinforce his leadership with his mandate to stamp out corruption among the force’s ranks. The PLA has already undergone major changes, becoming a more professional, modern force—despite its continued allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party. Beijing now seeks to modernize outdated weapons systems and structures and bring the PLA up to speed with the militaries of other major world powers. But the transformation of the PLA from a large ground force to a multifaceted military capable of projecting power beyond China’s border and coastline prompts concern about Beijing’s strategic ambitions.

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