I. The Big Story: PLA by 2027: A Modern Army?
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee last week. The primary task was to assess the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and consider the draft proposal for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), but the meeting also provided a window into Chinese domestic politics. The Communique issued at the end of the meeting says that China is still in a period of important strategic opportunity, as the world is “undergoing changes unseen in a century”.
The Communique’s last few paragraphs focus on the PLA modernisation and China’s national security. The plenum proposed to speed up the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces and realise the unity of a prosperous country and a strong military.