The 20th Party Congress and the PLA: A Conversation with Joel Wuthnow 

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In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Joel Wuthnow joins us to discuss emerging future trends in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Dr. Wuthnow explains the key patterns of the structure of the PLA and how it has changed under Xi in the context of increasing emphasis on military modernization. He also discusses the potential impact of the 20th Party Congress on the PLA modernization process, believing that the Party Congress is unlikely to introduce dramatic changes, but we should pay attention to the new composition of the Central Military Commission (CMC). Lastly, Dr. Wuthnow comments on the implications of the key trends within the PLA, arguing the leadership reshuffle could affect the PLA’s assessment of its readiness and capabilities and those of its adversaries.

Dr. Joel Wuthnow is a senior research fellow in the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs within the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the U.S. National Defense University and an adjunct professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His research areas include Chinese foreign and security policy, Chinese military affairs, U.S.-China relations, and strategic developments in East Asia.
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Bonny Lin
Director, China Power Project and Senior Fellow, Asian Security