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News | May 9, 2024

Unpacking China’s PLA Restructuring: A Conversation with Dr. Joel Wuthnow

By Bonny Lin

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Joel Wuthnow joins us to discuss China’s recent restructuring of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and particularly the disbanding of its Strategic Support Force and establishment of a new Information Support Force. Dr. Wuthnow explains the major organizational changes involved and how the new force fits into China’s overall military structure. He argues that while the PLA has long recognized the importance of dominating the information domain, this move suggests dissatisfaction with the previous organizational structure and its ability to effectively integrate capabilities for modern information warfare. He explains that these reforms do not indicate an acceleration of China’s military modernization goals or a shift towards a more offensive posture. Finally, Dr. Wuthnow shares his expectations for changes and priorities that may take shape for the PLA in the future.

Listen to the episode →