The Military Potential of China's Commercial Technology

Roger Cliff

Published by RAND Corporation, 2001
ISBN 10: 0833029398 / ISBN 13: 9780833029393
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Synopsis: China's economy is expected to grow over the next 20 years at a rate that will make it larger than the U.S. economy. This suggests that China has the economic potential to be an U.S. military rival by the year 2020. But can it become such a rival? At present, China's military hardware is based on 1950s Soviet technology. To produce weaponry technologically comparable to U.S. weaponry by 2020, China would have to improve its technological capabilities through internal, defense-industry efforts and/or other avenues. This report explores examining and rating China's current commercial technology in nine industries that have the most potential for supporting military technology development and assessing the prospects for technological progress. The findings suggest that even though China's military will not be the U.S. military's technological equal by 2020, the U.S. must still prepare for a Chinese military whose capabilities will steadily advance in the next 10 to 20 years.

From the Publisher: This report examines the potential of China's civilian industry toserve as a source of advanced technology for China's military. Itlooks at the current standing of China's commercial technology in anumber of industries with potential military applications andassesses prospects for further progress over the next 10 to 20 years. Itshould be of interest to researchers and policymakers who wish toknow about China's potential for developing advanced military sys-tems,as well as those who wish to know about China's commercialtechnological capabilities.This study is part of a larger, multiyear project on "Chinese DefenseModernization and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force." OtherRAND reports from this project include Mark Burles, Chinese Policy Toward Russia and the Central AsianRepublics, MR-1045-AF, 1999. Daniel Byman and Roger Cliff, China's Arms Sales: Motivationsand Implications, MR-1119-AF, 1999. Zalmay Khalilzad, Abram N. Shulsky, Daniel L. Byman, RogerCliff, David T. Orletsky, David Shlapak, and Ashley Tellis, TheUnited States and a Rising China, MR-1082-AF, 1999. Mark Burles and Abram N. Shulsky, Patterns in China's Use ofForce: Evidence from History and Doctrinal Writings, MR-1160-AF,2000. Michael D. Swaine and Ashley Tellis, Interpreting China's GrandStrategy, MR-1121-AF, 2000.This project is conducted in the Strategy and Doctrine Program ofProject AIR FORCE under the sponsorship of the Deputy Chief ofStaff for Air and Space Operations, U.S. Air Force (AF/XO).Comments are welcome and may be directed either to the author orto the project leader, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad. The cutoff date for re-searchin this report was November 2000.PROJECT AIR FORCEProject AIR FORCE, a division of RAND, is the Air Force federallyfunded research and development center (FFRDC) for studies andanalyses. It provides the Air Force with independent analyses of pol-icyalternatives affecting the development, employment, combatreadiness, and support of current and future aerospace forces. Re-searchis performed in four programs: Aerospace Force Develop-ment;Manpower, Personnel, and Training; Resource Management;and Strategy and Doctrine.

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Title: The Military Potential of China's Commercial...
Publisher: RAND Corporation
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New

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