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U.S. Department of Defense, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, 2002

This is the U.S. Department of Defense's annual report to Congress.
May 15, 2002

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A link to the full pdf is below. 


The report addresses the current and probable future course of military-technological development on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the tenets and probable development of Chinese grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy, and of the military organizations and operational concepts, through the next 20 years. This report to Congress addresses specific questions in four sections on Chinese strategy, Chinese military forces, China’s arms sales from the former Soviet Union, and the security situation in the Taiwan Strait.

This report begins with a cautionary note that was first outlined in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Net Assessment’s Report to Congress on Implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act in 2000. The Net Assessment report surveys how little is known about the most significant aspects of Chinese military power. Chinese secrecy is extensive. China reveals little in its Defense White Paper about the quantity or quality of its military forces. China’s defense spending may be some four times larger than its public announcement in March 2002 of a defense budget of about $20 billion. Since the 1980s, U.S. military exchange delegations to China have been shown only “showcase” units, never any advanced units or any operational training or realistic exercises.