In recent years, the topic of China’s military strength has become a hot topic. Many experts assess China’s military vulnerability lies in the human factor.
Weakness #1: No vitality
Under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) management, data on income, poverty reduction, and poverty reduction are faked in economic terms. In society, there are fake cigarettes, fake alcohol, fake vaccines—even fake military exercises.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that Chinese military command officials had created fake data related to routine military exercises.
The CCP fools the soldiers into thinking that patriotism is to love the Party and obey the Party’s orders. Therefore, the Chinese army has repeatedly used live ammunition on its people, such as the Tiananmen massacre.
In early 1989, in Tiananmen Square, there were non-violent pro-democracy demonstrations. But on June 3 and 4, 1989, this square turned into chaos and death when the CCP’s (PLA) army used tanks to crush innocent people, and to this day, the number of people massacred is still unknown.
According to Kinichi Nishimura, a military analyst with Japan’s Defense Intelligence Agency, “more than 70% of Chinese military troops are only children.”
China has had a planned birthing system for more than 30 years, allowing each couple to have only one child. As a result, the present Chinese military service age (between 18 and 20 years old) falls into the category of “only child.” Families spoil these children, whether they live in the city or the country. Being molly-coddled every day of their lives has not fostered a spirit of effort and ability to withstand suffering at the age of enlisting.
Another problem for the PLA is the difficulty of recruiting soldiers. “A few years ago, the Chinese military increased the deployment of warships and fighter aircraft, but their operational rate is not high, it seems that they cannot train enough soldiers and technicians to maintain and repair high-tech hardware,” Nishimura told Nikkei.
In recent years, the Chinese military has become increasingly reliant on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ballistic missiles.
Weakness #2: Inadequate fighting experience
According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS), since 1949, the PLA has only participated in “all-out war” three times: the Korean War (1950–1953), the China–India war (1962), and the Vietnam War (1979). In other words, the PLA has not been involved in a real war since 1979.
The U.S. CRS recently released a report showing that PLA officials are apprehensive about the widespread “peace disease” in the force.
“Chinese pilots fly 100–150 hours less than American pilots,” said Michael Beckley, a Tufts University professor who regularly reads Chinese military reports and journals. He added, “the Chinese military spends 20–30% of their time studying communist ideology.”
In addition, PLA exercises, according to Mr. Beckley, are heavily choreographed and lack realism (the red team almost always wins) … Because most of the drills only involve one unit, the military cannot coordinate efforts.
Weakness 3: Corruption
Senior Lieutenant General Xu Caihou and Senior Lieutenant General Guo Boxiong, both army generals, were corrupt.
Xu Caihou was detained for corruption and died of cancer in 2015 while under investigation. Guo Baxiong was captured after attempting to flee to the United States in 2014 and sentenced to life in prison for corruption in 2016.
Two years ago, the internet circulated an article by Deng Luyan, exposing the blatant corruption of two brothers—both Generals—Liu Xiaorong and Liu Sheng. Liu Sheng is still in the army as Deputy Director of the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department.
Professor Jin Yinan, former director of the Institute for strategic studies at the PLA’s National Defense University, revealed that many senior officers in the Chinese military devote most of their time and energy to building relationships while spending only 10% of their time on training and improving combat skills. Thus, PLA officers are promoted not because of their exploits but mainly because of the support of their superiors.
A prime example is Major General Gao Xiaoan, the first female PLA general to be arrested during President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign “smashing tigers and killing flies.”
Gao Xiaoan was arrested for accepting bribes and participating in the gutting of a housing construction project for cadres of Military Medical Institute 309. As a result, these apartments soon fell into serious disrepair.
Gao Xiaoan’s arrest is also related to another significant corruption case of a powerful general in the PLA—Mr. Gu Junshan, Deputy Director of the General Department of Logistics, rank of Lieutenant General. Accordingly, Gao Xiaoan had an illicit relationship with Gu Junshan when he returned to inspect the Military Medical Hospital 309. And yet, to get the rank of Major General, Gao Xiaoan even “bedded” Senior Lieutenant General Xu Caihou mentioned above.
According to the People’s Daily, more than 13,000 Chinese military officials were executed in the fight against corruption between 2012 and 2017.