Griffith II, Samuel B.
January 1965
Foreign Affairs;Jan1965, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p217
The article examines China's capacity to intervene in areas susceptible to national liberation movements. Any lay estimate of current Communist Chinese military capabilities, or future potential, is likely at best to be but partially correct; at worst, flagrantly inaccurate. Even those whose primary professional concern it is to assess Communist Chinese military capabilities have made egregious mistakes. One need not labor the obvious fact that a nation's military potential in this age is a complex amalgam of many diverse elements. Among the most important are its size, terrain and environmental situation; its national philosophy; the number, character, standards of literacy and morale of its population; its natural resources; the capacity of its indigenous science, technology and industry to develop these resources advantageously; and so on. China has the capability to intervene directly or indirectly in different ways in areas susceptible to so-called "National Liberation Wars." Several fundamental factors are germane to any assessment of China's present and future military potential.


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