China Continues Building Ability to Mobilize Army, People

China Continues Building Ability to Mobilize Army, People

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The Chinese army can “orchestrate mobilization” at a speed and scale that should make the U.S. hesitate, according to a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army.

“Since World War II, China has mobilized on a large scale several times—and the United States has not,” author and retired Army Col. Larry Wortzel writes.

In his paper, “Military Mobilization in Communist China,” Wortzel highlights five military campaigns between 1955 and 1979 to demonstrate China’s mobilization strength and its efforts to improve. 

According to Wortzel, the current supreme commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army “has breathed new life into mobilization” through new policies and reserve units and improved training.

Now, he warns, China’s military can be augmented by reserve units—or “modernized forms of militia”—around the country.

“U.S. military leaders would do well to note this significant ability of a great-power competitor, examine the corresponding shortcomings in U.S. capabilities and adjust the training of American forces accordingly,” Wortzel wrote.

Wortzel, a former director of the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, says the U.S. “must be aware of the military implications” of the Communist Party of China’s control, as well as its influence throughout the government and society.

The speed and scale of China’s mobilization is linked to its economy, industry, infrastructure, population and centralized planning system, he says.

Sending expeditionary forces into China “would likely create more support” for its Communist Party, which relies on mass mobilization, combat power generation and logistics for support, Wortzel says. 

Read the full paper here.