Adam Ni Profile picture
Aug 12, 2018 10 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
China will try to avoid military adventurism because of the lesson highlighted by American examples. But in the yrs ahead, it will find itself pulled towards foreign military entanglements because of its rapid expanding interests and footprint around the world.

1/ BRI routes
China's military, #PLA, is increasingly called upon to protect China's interests around the globe, including along the routes of the #BRI with its share of unstable polities. The rapid modernisation of the #PLA will enable China to project power much more effectively

The combination of the demand for #PLA to project its power in advancing China's interests globally as well as its modernising capabilities mean that the #PLA will be more likely than ever to be pulled into a foreign military entanglement.

One scenario, eg, may involve the worsening security environment in a key country along the #BRI. The latest suicide bombing against Chinese interest in Balochistan highlight such a possibility. The #PLA is sent on a limited defensive mission. Then mission creep sets in...

Over a number of yrs, the #PLA finds itself increasingly drawn in by the complicating situation, with insecurity exacerbated by its presence.

This scenario for foreign entanglement, I think, is the most likely given current trajectories.

What does all this mean? Well...China or the #PLA does not want to be involved in foreign entanglements, because they've learned lessons from US interventions. But it may not be a choice because of the deeper trends, pushing #PLA abroad.

This raises a whole lot of interesting but vexing questions for policymakers around the world. For one, a #PLA that is able to effectively project force is also more capable of threatening the interests of other countries.
Second, Chinese intervention, say in Africa or South Asia, will have ramifications beyond the polity involved, but also for regional security. How would India feel once #PLA has a solid presence on the ground in Balochistan? How may that affect Pak-Ind strategic relations?

Third, given the forces pushing the #PLA towards foreign intervention in the decades ahead, how might that affect China's military modernisation effort, and how may the experience of such entanglement down the road affect the #PLA future force development?

In sum, the world should be prepared for a global #PLA with presence around the world in the protection of China's ever-growing suite of interests. We should be thinking through this now so we not caught off guard.


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More from @adam_ni

Aug 25, 2018
#China will attempt a forceful unification with #Taiwan by 2021, the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party. Xi's grand dream of national rejuvenation entails unifying all that #CCP considers Chinese lands, especially Taiwan.

This THREAD looks at this potential scenario.
The legitimacy of the #CCP regime under Xi is based on the twin pillars of economic growth and nationalism. For the party-state, unifying the mainland and Taiwan is critical to its aspirations of national rejuvenation and erasure of national humiliation.
Why would PRC force a unification as early as 2021? 1) 2021 is the centenary of the #CCP; anniversaries and dates have massive symbolic importance in China's political culture. 2) Xi wants unification to be part of his legacy. This is the only way that he can outshine #Mao.
Read 26 tweets

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