Shaping the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Image: Historical Roots to Modern 11 Trends
Ross, Jason W., 1983-
Traditional Chinese society did much to devalue and stigmatize soldiers. During the Chinese civil war the Chinese Communist Party's military campaign had to recruit large numbers of soldiers. This began a long struggle to undo traditional stereotypes held against soldiers. Later, peacetime saw the PLA at the forefront of massive propaganda campaigns, which eventually led to a zenith in popular imagery. Modem observers of China are noting how fast, far and widespread efforts are to modernize the massive PLA. This new PLA requires a new kind of soldier, one who is comfortable with a computer. Ironically, the technology that makes modernization of the PLA possible also strengthens the civilian economy, creating a strong disincentive for highly educated youths to join the anny. As a result, the modem Chinese government has once again embarked on a massive campaign to strengthen the prestige of the PLA in China.