Since 1949, China has adopted nine national military strategies, known as “strategic guidelines.” The strategies adopted in 1956, 1980, and 1993 represent major changes in China's military strategy or efforts by the People's Liberation Army to wage war in a new way. This talk examines why major changes in strategy have been pursued at these periods and not at other times, highlighting the role of shifts in the conduct of warfare in the international system and unity among the top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.
M. Taylor Fravel is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Taylor studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. His books include Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China's Territorial Disputes (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Active Defense: China's Military Strategy Since 1949 (Princeton University Press, 2019). His other publications have appeared in International Security, Foreign Affairs, Security Studies, International Studies Review, The China Quarterly, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Studies, Armed Forces & Society, Current History, Asian Survey, Asian Security, China Leadership Monitor, and Contemporary Southeast Asia. Taylor is a graduate of Middlebury College and Stanford University, where he received his PhD. He also has graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2016, he was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation. Taylor serves on the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and as the Principal Investigator for the Maritime Awareness Project.
This event is part of the 2020 Winter/Spring Colloquia series, The PRC at 70: The Past, Present – and Future?, sponsored by APARC's China Program.