Created: 6/11/1970

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Extent Of the

Impact on Training and Morale


Disposition of Forces and Defensive

Manpower and Conscription

Military Equipment

The Chinese Communis'

Air and Air Defense



Combat Readiness and




The High

Air lorn-




communist china's general purpose and air defense forces


To assess the strength, capabilities, and disposition of the Chinese Communist general purpose and air defense forces with particular reference to the Impact of domestic political developments and Sino-Soviet tensions.


years have now been expended in CommuJiist Chinato strengthen and modernize its armed forces. Peking'swillingness toarge share of its resources tohas yielded some creditable results. At the same time,the effort has been beset by difficulties caused byand political policies and by the ambivalencemilitary doctrine and the requirements for building amilitary force.

upheavals of the Cultural Revolution interferred withtraining and, degraded the combat capabilities and readinessChinese Armed Forces. Bui the extent of this degradationdegree of its persistence up to the present time is inand INR believe that the level of training is still well shortin the army because of continued heavy involvement inactivities and that progress in extricating the People'sAimy (PLA) from these tasks will be slow. DIA and NSA, onhand, believe that training in the army3 and that any residual degradation in combateffectiveness isiscussion of the evidence on theseissue is contained in paragraphs

deteriorating course of Sino-Soviet relations, whichChina of extensive military assistance and then in recent

years led to an omnious buildup of military forces and pressure against China, has added another dimension to China's defense problem. Although Peking's reaction has so far been cautious and limited in scope, the Soviet buildup is almost certainlyajor impact on Chinese military planning.

its problems, the FLA has the capability fora formidable defense of the mainland. Its principal strengththe size of the ground forces (about two and one-half million)fighting potential as an infantry force. Although China'sis basically defensive, its forces could overwhelm itsSoutheast Asia or Korea if not opposedodern outsideas it is demonstrating in Indochina, Peking can provideto insurgent groups across its southern borders.

conventional combatodern opponent,branch of the PLA would have critical weaknesses Armybelieved to be seriously deficient in motorized transport andthe air defense system probably lacks an adequateand data processing capability and could notlarge-scale, sophisticated air attack; and China's navy, whilestill little moreoastal defense force.

estimated, current and projected production programsfor many years, provide sufficient quantities of the variousweapons and equipment needed to remedy materielto raise the PLA to modem combat standards. But the Chinesealmost certainly will continue to do so undera fairly broad range ofalong the following lines:

Ground Forces. Although the army is deficient in firepower and mobility and seems to have made less progress in modernization than might have been expected, the firepower of Chinese combat units is increasing. Already well supplied with small arms, ground units are rfx*iving more tanks and artillery.

AiV Forces. All elements of China's air defense apparently have been improved. Command and control capabilities have probablymore and better radars have been deployed at an increasing rate, androduction probably has recovered from the Cultural Revolution. SAM deployment, however, has been prc<eeding slowly

and we are increasingly uncertain about Chinese plans for producing thehere is some evidence that an aircraft of native design based on theas been produced in China.

aval Forces. With few exceptions, naval shipbuilding programs appear to have recovered fully9 from the Culturaland current expansion of shipyards indicates that new programs could be planned. Greater emphasis is being placed on production of larger, longer range ships capable of extended patrols. Constructionlass submarines now averages about twoear, and China has begun to build destroyers. Old destroyers are beingto carry cruise missiles.


wenty years ago the lightly equipped People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered Korea and iought in its first and only warell-equipped modern force. Although Chinese leaders had reason to be satisfied with the

that Chinas security and pretentionsreat power ruleubstantial effort to strengthen and modernize its armed forces. Such an effort was initiated in the midst of the war and has continued to tbe present day.

Tbe PLA has made impressive progress in some fields and it is today an organization of considerable size and defensive potential,apability to mount substantial offensive operations in the adjacent areas ol Southeast Asia and Korea. Nonetheless there are the striking facts that the PLA's overallhas been somewhat limited and uneven and that much of its time and energy has been absorbed by political and economic functions.

In the broadest sense, the PLA's progressrofessional, modem force bas been limited By the fundamental weaknesses of China's industry andBeyond that, however, its development has been strongly shaped by Mao's tendency to give priority to the political role and mission of the army, by his concepts for the defense of China tluough the strategy' of People's War, and by the consequences of bis challenge to the leading role of the USSR.

The modernization of the PLA suffered its first major upset whenb' Great Leap Forward broughtollapse of industrial production In China. These difficulties were compounded by the withdrawal of Soviet military and economic assistance0

It was also at the turn of the decade that Lin Piao took over the leading military positions in both the party and theove which usherederiod of renewed efforts at political and ideological "rectification" of the PLA Military production programs never lost their strong claim on resources, but the resurgence of the Maoist ideological approach to army building may

hive caused some pulling and hauling over prtorlliet. which in turn would help explain some of the anomalies which can he seen in China's military establishment today. In any case, the effort to politicize the military was mtensified to the mid- andnd culminated in the official designation of Lin Piao as Mao's successor and tbe PLA's takingentral role in the Cultural Revolution.


ft. Tbe PLA's involvement in the political and social upheaval brought on by the Cultural Revolution6 continues, and it has become increasingly apparent that this involvement was greater in the first two years or so than wc earlier believed. As the authority of the party and government apparatus declined, the PLA was called upon first to maintain general order and stability, then to assume the role of peacemaker and arbiter lietween. factional groups, and finally to assume leadership of the so-called Revolutionary Committees which now control government organizations, business and industrial enterprises, and schools throughout China. In the process the PLAide variety of administrative, security, and propaganda functions which extended deeply into almost every aspect of Chinese society.

Over the past few years major elements of at leastf4 armies were moved away from their borne bases for reasons relating to the political problems or disturbances of tbe tunc. In most instances these moves wererotational in nature and did not resultet shift of forces. Most of these units remain in their new areas and some at least are widely dupersed carrying out political and administrative tasks. Sinusal use is being made of many other PLA units which remain closer to their home garrisons-7 to the present approximatelyercent of Chinese ground force units have been identified as participating at one time or another in these non-military activities. The actual total may be considerably higher.

The PLA hatictim as well as an instrument of the CulturalThe purge at the higher levels of the PLA was particularly heavy in the earlier stages. Some of those purged upparmuiy favored constructing China's Armed Forces along conventional and professional linos, and ran afoul of Mao's ideaighly politicized military establishment. Differences alsoover priorities and programs for developing China's economic andstrength, issues which had been exacerbated by the damaging effects of Mao's disastrous Great Leap Forward and his handling of Sino-Soviet relabons-Othcr PLA figures seem to have been brought downesult of factional struggles that developed in tbe course ot the Cultural Revolution rather than because of past pobcy differences,

In any case, about half of the top military leadership was purged. The Military Affairs Committee, the highest off mil body responsible for mibtary planning, tost almost half of its standing members and was reorganized. The

General Staff Department, which is responsible for coordinatingimilar level of casualties. Commanders of the armored forces, the railway corps and apparently (he artillery corps were purged, as were the political comjnissars of the air force, navy, and railway corps. The casually list at the top was split about evenly between military professionals and political specialists.

here waseavy toll at the military region and military district levels. At these levels it was mostly political officers who fell.ew notable exceptions, purges and factional activity were llmiled at the army level and below.

onetheless, the PLA has emergedore powerful political force despite the buffeting it has received. Nine of theull and alternate members of the Politburo chosen at the Ninth Party Congress in9 were PLA members. Military officers now are tbe top men or hold powerful positions in nearly all of the Revolutionary Committees governing Chinas majorareas. The military is prominent in municipal and county governments

as well. In addition, ihe PLA is still ihe only effective nation-wide mstrumerrt of control available to Peking;esult the PLA isignificant if not predominant role in the political reorganization and party rebuilding that iscarried forward. The PLA is thustrong position to expand its power at local levels and probably at the national level as well Despite this enhanced political position, all the available evidence shows that

Impact on Training and Morale

raining. As indicatedarge number of army units have been identified with non-military activities. The key questions are, of course, the

their uninvolved comrades have participated in meaningful military training. The evidence on these points is neither clear nor firm and it is subject to widely ranging interpretation. These interpretations, in turn, are central to judgments concerning the current combat readiness and effectiveness of the PLA.

basic problem is that our data base on training in the PLA haslimited. In particular, we have never been able to follow the activitiessufficient number of army unils to establish the extent and nature ofpatterns. This deficiency applies in some degree to all the services,severely to the army.

major portion of evidence available consists of the following:

from individuab entering Hong Kong and letters frommainland whichixed picture of PLA activity:

continuing mass of Chinese press and radio reporting detailingof Chinese Army units and individuals in propaganda and

political work, and in administrative tasks throughout the government, the economy, and the school system.

Logically, the growing Soviet threat should haveapidof PLA personnel from Cultural Revolution tasks at leastthe PLA to concentrate on combat readiness. DIA and NSA believe that the evidence on the resumption of training8 indicates that this did happen, probablyonsiderable extent. Moreover, DIA and NSA do not findreferences to PLA involvement in non-military activities to be persuasive evidence of the actual numbers of troops involved and the time expended in such activities.

All USIB members agree that training in the Chinese Air Force and Navy probably is at normal levels (which are low by LTS or Sovietut the continued and constant references in the news media to army involvement in administrative and propaganda tasks lead CIA and INK to believe that the level of army training is still well short of rwrmal.

These arc differences of degree and they cannot be quantified in any meaningful way on the basis of present evidence. Thus, DIA and NSA emphasize indicators of the resumption of training. CIA and INR emphasize indicators of the continued involvement of the army in non-military activities.

orale. Morale and discipline must have been adversely affected by the disruption and divisiveness that the Cultural Revolution brought to Chinese societyhole.ime PLA leaders appeared divided at various levels and its personnel were subjected to physical abuse from factional groups.attacks against many senior officers could only have added to the overall problem. To some extent morale probably continues to suffer. Although then-has been time to repair the worst of the damage caused by the purge oflevel military officials. PLA commanders down to the military region level are probably still operatingense and uncertain political environment. Top level civilian leaders areonsiderable degree still preoccupied with internal political problems. Due to this condition we believe that overall policy guidance and military pUnning is still subject to some uncertainty and delay.1

' Lt. Gen Donald V. Bennett, the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, note) that the but known major military puree occurred over two yean ago and key military peaitneu now Appear to be filled by capible officers loyal to the central aovernrnent Voder such cuxuirutances. he believe* it it reasonable to conclude that PLA aftimnno longer operating antler tha abnormal stress and uncertainty which eharactciaed the Cultural Revolution.

Although the government is undoubtedly concerned with Internal poltrkal problems, the catiooal defense program! described In Section 'I suggest that Chinese militaryimely, purpeaetul, and has depth.

Vice Adm. Noel Cayler. the Director, National Security Agency;en. Joseph A. McOuistian. the Assistant Chief of Staff lor Intelligence, Department of tbe Amy; Cipt. William N. Hatch, lor the .vsrdstant Chief of Naval Operaboesepartment of the Navy; and Brig. Ceo. Edward Bstkovith, foe the Atslctant Chief of StaJF, Intelligence. United States Air Force, also loin in thU footnote

II. THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY TODAY Disposition o' Feces one* Defensive Meosuras

From lhe outset, Chinese Communist military policy has been lo provide first of ill for the defense of the mainland. Until recent years, at least. Peking viewed the US as in principal enemy The positioning of large ground forces opposite Taiwan and adjacent to Korea, and strenuous efforts to build up air defenses in east China and toapability to defend coastal waters alloncern about the potential ol US military power.

US intervention in South Vietnam and the bombing of the North5 caused Peking to emphasize the development of air defenses along the southern border and to strengthen naval forces in tbe area from Canton south. While there has been no significant strengthening of ground forces in southariety ol reports indicate that the Chinese are busy improving and expanding rail and road nets, and establishing military' storage facilities in areas near tbe borders of North Vietnam. Ijios. andesser extent. Burma.

We are not certain what to make of this construction activity. Some of the road and rail work tan be explained as necessary to economic development and political consolidation in the remote and sometimes turbulent border regions. The activity may alsoeneral concern for defense against loreign aggression, although it seems doubtful that Peking would expect more than minor harassment* in this area. Some of the road construction does, however, lead to the borders of Laos andthe case of Laos, road construction continues across the border. These roads do, of course, enhance Chineselo support Insurgency or lo project their own forces into mainlandAsia.

incehe USSF has been steadily building up its military strength along the Sino-Soviet border. In the springerious border clashes occurred alongsuri Hlvei. and in the ensuing months there were further border incidents and Moscowvycholocn al campaign that raived tbe specter of some sort ol major Soviet attack against China.Peking now regards the USSR as atoequal of the US as China's enemy Indeed, the Chinese probably now- view the Soviets as the more immediate and direct threat

lthough it is clear that Peking MM aware of tbe Soviet buildup soon after it began, Chinese military' reactions downt least, were cautious and limited in scopeS they began to extend and improve their air defense warning system along their northern frontier, but notrash basis There were no significant movements of major ground force units toward the Sino-Soviet Irontier In fact the major portion of two armies were moved out of Manchuria to deal with problems connected with the Cultural Revolution, and tbe vast arras of Sinkiang and Inner Mongolia continue to be very thinly manned with regular forces,odest reinforcement of these areas

Although ihe events9 cleaily heightened Peking's concern, Chinese military reaction apparently has continued to be cautious and primarilyin character.nner Mongolia was divided among the Shenyang. Peking and Lanchou Militaryn action which provides firmer com' mand and control over the northern border area. Deployment ofhe area has been increased. Tbe reported increase in the level of trainingamong air and naval units, ii almost certainly linked with Sino-Soviet tension'. Along with these military preparations, Peking hastrident "war preparations" campaign which include* new efforts to Increase Industrial and agricultural production and to disperse population and small industriallongstanding goals of tbe regime. The campaign alsoarion-widi* program of air raid shelter construction and food storage foruso.

Apart from their purely military aspects, these actiyities clearly serve the regime's economic and social goals and help unify the countryong period of internal turrrrOu. They also serve to put the Soviet Union on notice that China is prepared, if it must, to fight

Other Defensive Measures. The Chinese have longrogram for placing some of their military snd mditary related faaktles underground. Some naval bases now under construction are being provided with undergroundsome of which are reported to be protected berthings for submarines and smaller craft. Construction now underway at some airfields could provide underground hangers for part of China's (el fighter force.

A general pattern of digging in would make sense in terms of passive-gainst air or naval bombardment, particularly in view of the vuIwt* bib tics of China's active defenses against such attacks. The logic behind theof the huge eartb-mounded structures, which have been reported in east China, is Insbusible explanation for these facilities is that they are designed to provide defensive strong points for important strategic and political centers. This function would fit with Ihe extensive work being done to build cave and tunnel strong points along the coast where the terrain favors such defenses. But the tactical utility of the large moundsodem, mobile enemy invader is open to question and wc ore not yet confident that wethe reasoning which b'es behind their construction. Some measure of their importance to Peking is evident, however, in the sacrifice of good agricultural land in east China.

AAonpowar ond Conscription

eking for the third time in four years akered the length of service for newhe PLA Tho terms of service in the army, navy and air force were increased to three, four and five years respectively. The return to longer terms of service probablyesire to raise live level of skilled manpower in the services.

be PLA evidently assumed control over Public Security Force*nd7 took osrr the paramilitary Production and Construction Corps (PCCI Subsequently some increased military uaming may have been conducted within these organizations, particularly among PCC units locatedorder arras. Over tbe last few years some additional but very basic training also may have been provided to certain militia units. While we doubt that this training has been sufficient to make these organizations effective front line adjuncts of the PLA, they doeadily available source of organized manpower that could be used In defensive and delaying actions along the Soviet border.

Military Equipment Programs

he limitations ofcientific, technical managerial, and industrial capabilities and the disruptive effects of MaVdM political and economic policies of the past decade are highly visible in the programs for production of con-ve-nlional military hardware. In terms of design and development, the high priority given to nuclear weapons systems seems to have absorbed much of the available talent. With few esceptions. (he Chinese appear to have done Utile original design work on conventional weapons.onsequence, most of their production of military hardwarebased on Soviet equipment and production technology acquired prior

e see no early end to tbe bindesources despite the high priority on such resources that military programs will continue to enjoy. Some additional time may be necessary to overcome the adverse effects of factionalism and political disputes which good evidence shows developed during the Cultural Revolution in the National Defense Scientific and Technological Commission. In any event, there hasour year disruption of seientific and technical

education and there is yet no signesumption of such education on a

sound basisroad scale.

ilitary production, even where design and other technical problems have been solved, bas in many cases fallen below levels that we would have considered desirable* fiom Peking's point of view and within tlicir capabilities. This has been due. in part, to the economic disruptions of the Great Leapears ago and more recently to the Cultural Revolution For example, it isthat fighter aircraft production dropped significantlynd various sourcesecline in naval shipbuilding during the same period Although there is little direct evidence, it is likely that some other types of military production also declined because of the Cultural Revolution

he particular disruptions of lhe Cultural Revolution have now been largely overcome, indeed it appears that military production0 on an overall basis will equal the previous highonetheless, we do not yet see an end lo the loivgstaridmg uneven pattern ol military' procurement. These patterns are not entire I) explained by economic disruption' and wc are somewhat purpled by the ordering of priorities if. as we believe likely, resources and plant facilities


arcremium. For example, the Chinese Army is being supplied with tanks from domestic production; but information at hand indicates that the army is receivingery few of the other types of vehicles and supporting equipment required by an armored force. China produces trucks; yet the army probably is woefully short of wheeled transport. No effort has yet been seen toedium size transport aircraft which China badly needs, not only for domestic economic reasons, but also lo support both air and ground operations.of patrol vessels continuesubstantial rateime when the principal threat to China would seem to be overland from the USSR. In sum, we are not certainirm overall authority is providing continuous and coherent direction to China's military production program.1

The Chinese Communis* Army

Lt. Ceo. Donald V. Bennett, the Director. Deieroegenee Agency, believes it isto conclude (hat the cited example* in China's military procurement patten* reflect the absenceUrn overall authority in view of the intelligence community'! admitted lack of Information on Chinese strategic concepts aod Peking's assessment of the threat (Seef thehina's emphasis on air and coastal defense weapons appears conriitent with her strategic situaOoo.

Vsc* Adm. Noel Cayler, the Director, National Securely Agency; Mai. Gen. Joseph A. McOuisOan, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. Department of the Army; Cap* WiBram N. Hatch, for the Assistant Chief of Navaleportment of the Navy; and Brig. Gen. Edward Ratten ten, for the Assistant Chief of Stair, Intelligence. United States Air Force, also loin in this footnote.

China's principal military strength still lies in the size pf the army and its fighting potential as an infantry force. The numerical strength of the Chinese Communist Army (CCA) cannot be estimated with confidence on the basis of current data,igure of about two and one-half million is probably accurate within plus or minusercent. This strength has not changed substantially over the past decade, The overall deployment of the army has also remained substantially the same with the bulk of the ground forces still deployedile-wide band extending from southern Manchuria southward along the coast to the borders of Vietnam.

Considering its importance, the CCA probably has made less progress in modernization than might have been expected.

JO. in aaaition, thr army's involvement In internal affair* raises seriousconcerning thr ability of its commanders to assemble divisions quickly and coordinate their activities effectively. Tins factor and equipment deficiencies make it appear that the Chinese Army is mucheady and effective force than we previously fudged it to be and less able than we had thought to engage in conventional combat against modern opposition. Even though military training has moved forward in the past year, it still seems probable that the Chinese might encounter considerable difficulty in quickly projecting large forces towardthreatened border areas Or even of concentrating and maneuvering ground forces effectively within their own regional bases.*

ittle effort seems to have been expended in developing more exoticfor the ground forces Although the Cliinese probably have the required skills and technology toactical ballistic missile, there is no information which indicates that the Chinese are working onystem. This being the case. It is unlikely that tbe Chinese couldactical missile much before the. if indeed they have current plans to developystem. Evenmall chemical warfare research program apparently exists, there is no evidence that China has committed important resources tohemical or biological warfare program. Military training emphasizes tlic defensive aspects of chemical warfare.

Air ond Air Derenta Forces

Lt Ceo. Donald V. Remit, theXenseurvey, does not believe that (be Pl-A'l tntohemmt*in infernal affairs Jl Hi. lunr is so tfreal ai in tmuftcantiy oVfradc Ks snsfetary eJInincaesa. as prosetislyarafranfcuaaaBnaaMl. th* PLA'inlniOti are kmominant impediment lo theand eooidiro-uon ol Urfr uumberi at around forces.

Chinese infantry drvumm probable

are srnoiwy ui-nrieni ir. molnr Iran sport by Wesleni standards and by the remi"cm*oti ol tfaelr eilurubtd TO&Es In Ktual practKv. iVte detisien>iei would be tnitiaaledon-taierablr decree b> theof sniliaa tritipcelai or bricaoVs and the capaburtsn ol ihe armj'i mthnr motor transports I reruneno. uniti rot centred in the study.

DeJNsriKies in air traniportaUon bran China'ito Hlect rapiduildup In remote sreai But in those areas where China would mosl likely assemble Urge numbers uiand highwayare adegliDI* lui the rapid fkeiulKin ofuildups.

m Noel Caylei. the Director. Njttoul Security AivGencChrfctsan. the Assistant Chief of Staff for InteUiaenee. riepartnieni of theapeiUh fcrutant Chief of Naval OprraUom (lnieQiprneel. Drpartmen of the Karri and fine Geo Edward Earimich. for the Assistant Chief of Staff. Inielhgeue, United Statei .Air Force, also loin In this footnoie

ll elements ofir defense apparently have been improved during the part lb months, and training activity probably increased somewhat during


I. Radar production evidently has suffered little from the Cultural Revolution utd more and better radars have been deployed at an ldci easing rate, extending and fining in high- and medium-altitude detection capabilities, particularly along China's northern border. It is probable thatroduction hasfrom the Cultural Revolution andignificant number were added to the operational force last year Although it may increase somewhathe overall rate of SAM deployment has been very low.

Despite these improvements, the air defense system stillimited capability for detecting row-altitude penetrations. It is also believed to suffererious communications and data processing deficiency. In the eventarge-scale air attack using ECM, this deficiency could be expected to severely degrade air situation reporting and fighter control. As the number of attacking aircraft increased, the system would rapidly become saturated and henceMoreover, it is likely thatew of then China have an all-weather capability, and probably no more than IS percent of China's total jet lighter force hasapability.owcapability, but the handful ofeceived from the Soviet Union are the only aircraft with morearginal capability for engaging other aircraft in supersonic flight.

Moreover, we are increasingly uncertain about Chinese plans fortheut note that the Chinese have bad eight yean now to study, copy, or make design modifications to theiven them by the Soviets. It would appear, therefore, that the Chinese either have experienced great difficulties in reproducing this aircraft (which appears to be the most likely case) or that they have decided to bypass then tbe hopes ofa more advanced interceptor of their own design. If the latter is the case, such an aircraft probably would not be available in quantity for at least five years.

There is some evidence that an aircraft of native design based onas been produced in China. We aro unable to predict whether such an aircraft might be used in an interceptor or ground attack role, or possibly both In any event if this aircraft is in production, we? believe it will be several years before it could be available in substantial numbers-

We now believe that production of the Soviet designedet medium bomber began at the Yenliang Airframe Plantomeombers could have been produced by now. The production rate could increase gradually andevel ofonth bynitial operationalol this aircraft probably has begun. It is likely that the Chinese willthe TV-IB primarilyehvery vehicle for nuclear weapons.

lthough little Is known of the Chinese doctrine on AAA employment, theyizeable AAA force which has benefitted from combat experience in North Vietnam This force seems to be deployed primarily in eastern China, extending from the North Korean border southward down the coast and along

dermic and to protect selected target areas against attack The Chinese AAA force will probably gain in effectiveness with deployment of additional weapons and continued training.

AM units have been activated much more slowly thanexpected and there are now aboutnits in the field. Deployments averaged about four per yearnd the deployment pattern nowetter defenseew important strategic targets. Nevertheless, theorce will not add significandy to China's overall air defense capability for some time to come. SAMs and AAA if located together would maiimlze the effectiveness of these air defense weapon systems

here has been no significant change in the tactical strike and air support capabilities of the Chinese Communist Air Force for many years. IL-2Ss are still the only jet bombers which the Chinese have in any quantity) and their few ground attack fighter divisions are equipped withI.-lOv Purchases of transport aircraft from the USSB have only marginally improved the airlift and airborne assault capability, and any improvement over the next few years is likely to depend almost entirely on such purchases. The Chinese probably haveimited capability for the employment of ECM in support of offensive missions

Natal Forces

he composition, deployment, and operations of the Chinese Communist naval forces all indicate that their primary mission continues to be coastal defense. Although naval strength is increasing, tbe navy is now capable only of providing adequate defense against small surface forces intruding into coastal waters. Its antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capability is minimal by modem standards and limited to areas adjacent to naval bases where suiluce ships are readily available. Virtually no priority has yet been given to improving the capabilities of the naval air force or to construction of ships which would improve Chinas very limited seagoing amphibious capabsbty

ith few exceptions, naval shipbuilding programs probably recovered fully9 from the Cultural Revolution Coastal patrol craft, including missile boats, arc being turned out at an increasing rate Constructionlass subiTiarines now average about twoear and an additional shipyard probably has begun submarine construction Old destroyers received years ago from the USSR are being converted to carry cruise missiles. China has also begun toew class of destroyer which may be basedodified design of the Soviet Kotlin Particularly in view ol the conversion of the older destroyers, we think it likely these new ships will also be equipped with cruise missiles. It appearsreater emphasis is now being placed on programs which will provide larger, longer range ships capable of extended patrols In addition, shipyard expansion currently under way indicates that the Chinese may be planning additional naval programs.

The Chinese coastal defense cruise missile program hu developed very slowly. Two SAMLET sites were constructed In thet opposite sides of the entrance to the Po Hai Culf. No additional sites have beenand there is no evidence which indicates that this weapon has beenat any of the many coastal defense sites which have been observed It is possible, therefore, that the Chinese have been working on anodification of the styx cruise missile which they arcproducing.


Combo' Readiness and Capabilities

s indicated above, the Cultural Revolution degraded Chinese military capabilities in terms of readiness, morale and discipline Tlje resumption of trainingore regular scale which we believe occurred Inerved to overcome some of these deficiencies. This progress shouldif the current mood of moderation tn Peking persists during the months ahead. But the process of extricating the PLA. particularly the army, from its involvement in non-military activities will be difficult and slow, especially since Peking continues to be beset by political problems and is making only very slow progress in rebuilding the party and in accomplishing other organizational reforms. Heightened tensions between China and the Soviet Union during tbe past year seem to have had some sobering influence on Peking, but not enough to jolt the Chinese leadership into any crash effort to improve the army'sreadiness Thus, though developments seem to be tending toward returning tbe entire PLAore normal footing, much of the tune and energy, at least of army personnel, is likely lo continue to be diverted by nun-military activity and poUtical stress for tbe next few years,*

rojected production programs will not for many years, provide sufficient quantities of the various types of weapons and equipment needed lo remedy serious materiel deficiencies and to raise the PLA to modern combat standards. As the process of modernization goes forward, the Chinese will face steeply rising economic costs. Not only will outlays for equipment increase, but as more equipment reaches the field, operations and maintenance costs will go up. Furthermore, although Industrial production seems to be recovering from the

'Lt On. Donald V. Bennett, the Director, Drtrnsrfvncy. believes that the resumption at8 has allowed wifioent nan*oat of the Cultural RtiiJutsua Snap Ire it cWteameies tn readiness, morale and tramine. Morro-er. it is his opinion chat the PLA's normal postureranasenhk erpeodiMre of Bme and energynort-milBary acts* tors, but theot erpected to wbttanbaBy impair combat readiness tn the future.

m Noel Cayicr, the Director. National Securityan.iOussnan. the Assistant Charf of Staif for latelbrmce. Department ol the Army. Capeatch, lor the Auaunl Chief ol NavalnteDiRencef the Navy, and Brig. On Edward RJllovich. for the Assntant Chief of Staff. Intrilinence. United Staleslso join in this footnote.

disruption inflicted by ihe Cultural Revolution, tbe prospects for vigorousand growth are not bright. And at the Chinese attempt to move ahead with ortgiiu)here willurther stretching of scarce scientific and technical resources. Tlve army will continue to be deficient in firepower and mobility at leastor will China be able to develop within that rinse frame an air defense system that would be ableopea tor air attack Naval construction programs, althoughill provide more and better ships in the future, cannot soon be sufficient to alter the fad that the navy has the capability only for coastal detenu- against small intruding surface forces and an ASW capability only in Ihe vicinity of naval bases.

these important weaknesses and short-comingv. tbe PLA hasdefensive capability. This strength together with the sheetChina's population and territory wouldround war against Chinaformidable proportion evenreat power The PLA could easilysituation likely to arise on the Sino-Indian frontier or anything theunassisted, could mount against the mainland And. of course,could overrun their neighbors in Southeast Asia or Korea in aattack if not faced with oppositionodern outside it is demonstrating in Indochina and with its logiitical preparationsChina, Peking is in an excellent position to meddle in insurgenciessituations across its southern border.

Policy,nd Strategy

military programs and force dispositions continue to reflectccocetn for defense. Even their emerging nuclear capabilityinto this generally defensive posture, when viewedeterrent againslenemy. Maoist military doctrine leaches respect tor the enemyneed to avoid direct encounters with superior forces; this basicto guide Chinese military policies today.

Political uncertainties in China and Sino-Soviet tension, however, greatly complicate the process of making judgments regarding future decisions in Peking on military policy One thing that seem* almost certain is that the military icctor will retain its high priority in the allocation of resources. But. as we indicated above, the Chineseong way to go in filling out and modernizing (he equipment of the general purpose and air defense forces, and only gradual improvement across the wide range of requirements will he possible. Competition from strategic missile and nuclear weapon programs, which have the highest priority of alL adds to the problem.

Mao, though he ronordes the need lor modern equipment and formilitary skills, Is clearly more interested in the continuing politicizalion of the PLA and in using it as the exemplcr and instrument for bringing about the ideological remodeling he seeks for all of Chinese society Military professionals, on the other hand, arc likely to be mote cotrierncd with correcting China'sweaknesses and dealing with many prewmg practical problems

White it il evident that the PLA hat enhanced its position for national policy, the extent to which its representatives areexert this influence is not so clear. About all that can be said with much confidence is that the designing of policies and programs for building andodem,military establishment will be difficult as long as Mao is on the scene.

ino-Soviet antagonism should provide the PLAowerful argument for its case in general. It could also lead to revisions in Peking's set of militaryaxarnple. improving the equipment and firepower of the ground forces might get more attention, while naval programs might be curtailed. The chances ofhift might increase if Peking also saw the US as altering its stance in Asia. But this is only speculation, and it Is equally possible that Peking, caught up in its own internal problems, does not yet sec its way clearly for

The basic restraint and caution Peking seems to be showing in the face of the Soviet buildup on the border probablyoncern not to make military movementscale that might provoke or alarm the Soviets.ore important reason the Chinese have not made important ground forcein the border areas is simply that they areirtue of necessity, tbe Chinese do not intend to push their armies up to the border where the Soviet forces would have the shorter tncs of communications and could use their ira-mense superiority in firepower and mobility to the greatest advantage. In the caseoviet cross border probe, the Chinese probably would react with whatever forces were locally available, but would not be easily provoked into sending large reinforcements to the frontier. In the eventarge-scale invasion attempt by the USSR, Chinese strategy appears to call for harassing and delaying actions and even of puttingtrenuous defense of selected strategic areas. In the main, however, the Chinese still appear to be willing to give up territory if necessary and toaoist Peoples War deep in China

It should be stressed, however, that Chinese concerns and preparations arc not focused only against the Soviets. Military forces, especially air. have been slrengthened in the southern border areas, and defensive positions have been constructed there and along China's coastline as well. Peking's propaganda tells the Chinese people to prepare against attack not only from the USSR but also from the US.




Fornumber of reasons we know considerably lew about the doctrine, strategy, tactics, training, and capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) than wc do about those of the Soviet Armed Forces. We have had ampleto observe Soviet units in Eastern Europe and evaluate at first hand their activities, equipment levels, readiness posture, and so on. On occasion, it hasen possible to observe military units active inside the USSR itself. The Soviets have also conducted several large-scale nuhtary exercises which have enabled us toetter feebng for their overall capabilities and theheir doctrine andonversely, lhe Chinese have made il extremely difficultoreigner to get anythinguperficial glimpse of tbe PLA, and there is Utile evidence from which to derive judgments relative to strategy, tactics, or actualpabifctjes-

Tbe Soviet Union has permitted publicationarge amount of materia] dealing with rnUitary doctrine and strategy. China, on the other hand, hasvery little onsubject- In addition, there has been some penetration into high military levels in the Soviet Union and acquisition of documents such as tbe Penkovsky papers have provided considerable information.

Finally, the Soviet Armed Forces, because theyreater threat to the US. have bad first claim on US analyticalhorough analytical efiort has only begun to be applied to Chinese ground force units and it will be some time before we* are as confident of our judgments about many aspects of the Chinese Communist Army (CCA1 as wc now are about similar aspects of the Red Army.

Tbe High Command

Ministry of National Defensender the pobry control ofAffairs Committee of the Party Central Committee, is the seniorThe chief staff components of the MND are its three generalthe General Staff Department, the General Political Department,General Rear Services Department Most combat arms and services,the air force, navy, armor, artillery, and selected supportingrepresented at the MND level by separate headquarters However,no separate headquarters for the infantry forces, which are apparentlydirectly by the MND

administrative purposes, mainland Chins Is divided Into militaryare divided into subordinate districts. The number of Militaryrecently been reduced fromorhe InnerRegion has been divided among the Shenyang. Peking, andThough the evidence is leu clear, the Tibet Military Region maysulMvrdinated to the Cbengtu Military Region These are territorialoperational commands and in most cases conform to provincial boundaries.


The main field command organization of the CCA. is the army, of which there arehere is nothing in the CCA analogous to the Soviet combined arms or tankypical Chinese army at full strength wouldnfantryrtillery regiment,nti-aircraft artillery (AAA) regiment and would numbern addition to units subordinate to armythereumber of separate combat, combat service, and service support units assigned to the headquarters of military regions.

We estimate that at full strength tbe standard infantry division would number0 officers and men. Its principal combat elements wouldnfantryrtillery regimentank/assault gun regiment. In addition lo the standard Infantry division, the Chinese have light divisions for use In mountainous and other difficult terrain. These type units are similar to the standard division but do not have the tank/assault gun regiment, are equipped with lighter artillery, and have less organic vehicular transport.

S. Continuing analysis has strengthened our confidence that the CCA hasombat9 infantry.older defense/military Internalrmored,t the regimental level, however, analysis has always been more problematical.esult, we cannot estimate with high confidence the strength of the CCA. We believe, however,igure of two and one-half million is probably accurate within plus or minus ISI See




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Combat Support DivisSont

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Service Support Division* 11

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Combat Support Rrsrunenti

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* Thii fiiture could vaiy5iadual mcicasc is expecteda result ol vettlyinB units already In eatatrnre andimited numbri ol newly formed ones.



Air Support and Airborne Aitault Capabilities

The Chinese hive no tenant* tactical air command, and W* have no information concerninc. PLA doctrine on the use of aircraftlose support role. At present any tactical strike or ground support mission would fallon0 or soS- in tbe Chinese Communist Air Force (CCAF: and Chinese Communist Naval Air Forcend the few fighterin the CCAF, which have ground attack as their primary mission. The remainder of the operational fighter force is assigned to air defense, with ground attackecondary role.

The Chinese have an extremely limited airborne assault capability. Tbe principal limitation on the employment of Chinese airborne forces it the small size of the Chinese air transport fleet which consists largely of light transportsew medium transports. The medium transports includeCubs purchased from the Soviet Union, which an the only rear extraction aircraft in the Chinese inventory. Fiveoke light transports, purchased from the USSR constitute tlie only notable addition to the inventory in rheears. We have no evident* that the Chinese are preparing toedium or heavy transport. During peacetime anderiod of no moreays, the maximum daily totalirlift capability of the Chinese military transport force augmented byercent of the civil air fleet is estimated to beully supplied and equipped troops. For supplies only, tbe theoretical daily maximum isons. Similarly calculated, the dailyift capability is estimated to be0 fully equipped and supplied troopsons of supplies alone. It is unlikely, however, that this optimum capability could be achieved.

Air Forca

he CCAF exercises its administrative and operational control throughactical air districtsimited number of air elements assigned directly to Headquarters CCAF. Although there is no "Air Defense Command" in the

US or Soviettaff clement of CCAF Headquarters and controls nil air defense operations, including those involving air control and warning. AAA, SAMs, and fighters supplied from the CCAF and CCNAF.

The CCAF and CCNAF, number approsumatelyCO0 men and are equipped with0 aircraft of whichre subordinate to the CCNAF. (See TABLE II for estimated numbers of military aircraft in operationalbe largest active operational unit in tbe CCAF is the Air Division, with each division consistingegiments

The present strength of the jet light bomber force is. The number of sorties flown per month by the averageilot is probably adequate to maintain proficiency. Moreover, 'he fact that many pilots have been flying these same aircraft for up toears would probably provide the bomber force with itsfftcient experience to conduct medium- or low-altitude bombing missions. At least half of the ioree is probably equipped for radar bombing.

The strength of the fighter force is estimated to have increased byircraft during the past IS months This increase is based upon continuing production. Tbe force sire will continue to increase as morere produced since the phasing out of the olderndrobably is proceeding slowly.egiments currently have about IS aircraft per unit and fighter regiments aboutircraft.






... .




. .

Became of uncertainties concerning therogram no projection Is niad>

lthough information is limited, we estimate that no moref Chinai fighter force is equipped with uubome intercept equipment. The large majority of these are. The Soviets may have provided the Chineseimited number of beat-seekingype AAMs when they dellvxred thend the Chinese possibly are producing some of these missiles and perhaps bearn-rsder missiles as well.

IT. Tbe extensive air surveillance and control network is comprised ofadar sites withadars.7 the deployment ol new-radars (including some new models of Chinese design) has increasedimprovement ol China's air defense radar network probably will continue toigh prioilty.

IS. Although radar deployment generally was widely dispersed,$uildup of new radars probably occurred In areas adjacent to th* Sino-Soviet and Slno-Mongohan borders. Tbe net effect of this buildup would be to provide considerably increased long-range high- and medium-altitude early warning and ground control intercept coverage in northern China Radar cover-age probably was also increased about strategic areas throughout China Despite the recenthina's air defeme radar network continues to have significant weaknesses It apparently lacks an operational advanced datasystem and thus would have to rely upon manual morse and voiceLow altitude and surface search coverage remain far from adequate, and defense against electronic coiintermrasurc* still is hmitcd.

The anti-aircraft forces include aboutir forte AAA divisionsrmy AAA divisions which arc more lightly gunned. These AAA divisions are operationally subordinate to the CCAF restrict Headquarters in the area in which they are located. AAA defenses are distributed along the entire East Coast from Hainan Island to the Korean border, and heavy eoescentjabons of AAA defend important coastal airfields opposite Taiwan. Other significant AAAare located near the Xorth Vietnamese border Selected airfields, urban complexes, military installations, and production areas throughout China can also be expected to be defended by these weapons.

In addition to iheir conventional AAA, the Chineseimited SAM capability. The Chinese ptactice of moving units about makes it difficult to determine thef the force, but we believe there are aboutAM battalions currently in the field. There should also be additional SAM equipment in RftD or training facilities. ftoducOoo and deployment rates have remained low since tbe inception of the4 units pet year. Whether tbe Chinese intend to step up the pace of SAM deplo>nx-nt depends in part on theirof the present equipment. It is possible that they are working on further refinements or improvements in the system. In any event, it seems likely that the SAM force will fall well shortnitsnd tbe air defense system will continue to rely primarily on fighter aircraft.

The emphasis in SAM deplovment is believed to have shifted from at.ti-reconnaissance to defense of strategic targets Most of the new battalions de-


ployed7 have- been added lo key areas thai already had some SAM protection. Nevertheless, some percentage of the SAM force will conlinue to be kept relatively mobile in an effort to interdict and deter aerial reconnaissance and the intrusion of other aircraft.


Administrative and operational control over the naval forces is exercised through tbe headquarters of the Chinese Communist Navy (CCN) located In Peking. Orders from the Minister of Defense are passed to the navy'sin chief via the General Staff. Three fleet area commands are directly subordinate to naval headquarters: the North Sea Fleet with headquarters in Tsingtao; tbe East Sea Fleet, with headquarters in Shanghai; and the South Sea Fleet, with headquarters in Chan-chiang (Fortmmediatelyto the three fleet headquarters are district and sector headquarters which are responsible for theu respective segments of the coastal area.

The CCN now Includesestroyer escorts, aboutydrofoil motor torpedo boats,uided missile patrol boats andther patrol craft. Personnel strength is estimated aten. of which0 are In the naval air force (See TABLE III for estimated numbers of naval combatants and support ships-)

Over the past year or so. the most significant changes in tbe composition of the Chinese naval forces have been the equipping of destroyers io the North Sea Fleet with missile launchers and the addition ofclass submarines to the East Sea Fleet. Tbe South Sea Fleet was further strengthened by the additionourth Kiangnan-class destroyer escort, but compared with tbe North and East Sea Fleets, it continues to be weak in patrol escorts and does not yet have any submarines. There is evidence, however, of continuing efforts to equalize fleet strengths, including the number of submarines assigned to each.

Construction and expansion of naval facilities and shipyards continues, especially in the Fast and South Sea Fleet areas.

The CCN sea lift capability remains negligible. Only about two plus infantryroops!nfantry and one artilleryroops) could be transported at any given time and amphibious training receives little attention. In port-to-port operations, passenger ships of thefleet could debver up0 troops. There arecean-going cargo ships, some of which probably could be employed in transporting troops or supplies. In addition, in operations where the use of smaller ships and craft is feasible, tbe Chinese could employ literally thousand* of junks for trarssporring troops and light equipment The amphibious force Is aging and replacement will soon be required if the present capability is to be maintained.

The CCNAF is predominantly an air defense force. It includes at leastighter regimentsf aboutighters each, andet light bomber regimentsfoircraft each. Some

of therc usedeconnaissance role. Naval operational fighters are primarily assigned to air defense. Although administratively controlled by CCNAF headquarters at Peking through die fleet headquarters, in their air defense role fighter units are operationally controlled by the CCAF. The bomber regiments are used for patrol and bombing activities in coastal areas and are controlled by the fleet headquarters Atf themited torpedo attack capability.


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Carrier. (AO/AOL/AW) .

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That unit represent,cumrructioa and may eventually be muule*enupped.'-dau

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Original document.

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