Civil-Military Relations in China: Party-Army or National Military?

David Shambaugh


This article examines the changing dynamics of relations between the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA). It argues that
while the PLA remains politically loyal to the CCP, there is evidence of important
changes in the institutional relationship between the two institutions. The partyarmy
relationship is no longer as intertwined and symbiotic as it has historically
been; rather, this article argues that there is evidence of a 'bifurcation' between the
two. The catalysts for this change have been the professionalization and relative
depoliticization of the military, as well as the leadership transition in the CCP.
These changes raise important and central issues for the future of Chinese politics.*

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Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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