Defence doctrine is an important indicator of armed forces′ intentions and capabilities. Since the policy of defence modernization was introduced in China in 1973, the war-fighting doctrine and strategic principles of the People′s Liberation Army (PLA) have undergone two major changes. The first change came in the late 1970s. The Maoist doctrine of the “people′s war,” which had been prevalent in the late 1960s and 1970s, was replaced by a new doctrine of the “people′s war under modern conditions.”
* I am grateful to Alastair Iain Johnston, David Shambaugh and Michael D. S waine for their critiques and editing of earlier drafts of this article.