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What a Difference 10 Years Makes for the PLA

by John Reed on May 4, 2011

In all the excitement over the death of Osama bin Laden this week, we’ve chilled on our coverage of a perennial favorite topic here at DT; China’s military modernization.

Some great images over at China Defense Blog show the progression of the PLA from a mid-Cold War-looking army in the late 1990s to the 21st Century force that’s emerging today. No, the PLA can’t yet compare to the United States military but it’s damned impressive to see the progress it’s made in the last decade. Apply this to the PLAAF with its prototype J-20 stealth fighter and the PLAN which is about to field its first operational aircraft carrier; factor in China’s growing wealth and knowledge base and then guess where the Asian giant will be in another ten years.

The shot above is an image of the PLA’s new battlefield kit. The images posted below the jump are from an exercise just over ten years ago. Note how the soldiers are carrying Kalashnikovs and rocking very old-school uniforms. Soon, they may be carrying these and wearing these.

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