Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


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China's Search for a Modern Air Force

Journal Article

John W. Lewis - Stanford University
Xue Litai - Stanford University

Published by
International Security, Vol. 24 no. 1, page(s) 64-94
Summer 1999

This article addresses two central questions: First, why have Chinese efforts over the last half century to create a modern air force failed? Second, what lessons have the Chinese gleaned from these failures? Based on their findings, the authors conclude that China's air force has moved away from a strategy based on "active defense" and no first strike, adopting along the way Western notions of the role of air power in combat.