Professionalism and the leadership transition in the post-Mao Chinese Army

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)22_Publication in policy or professional journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-60
Journal / PublicationJournal of Northeast Asian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1991
Externally publishedYes


Many China experts claim that there was a leadership transition in the Chinese Army in the 1980s and that the formation of the post-Mao military elite represents the emergence of technocracy in the People's Liberation Army (PLA). However, their arguments are not supported by sufficient data. This article analyzed 224 top Chinese Army leaders' biographies and found that there was indeed a leadership transition in the post-Mao Chinese Army and that the current PLA elite can be best characterized as a bureaucratic-technocracy rather than just as a technocracy. © 1992 The Gaston Sigur Center for East Asian Studies, The George Washington University.