Military-Entrepreneur Relations in China since 1979: From Political Divide to Social Reconciliation

  •  Yongchang Wang    


There have been substantial changes in the relationship between the PLA and the emerging private entrepreneurs since China’s reform and opening-up. As a consequence, these relations have shifted from the old model of political divide to a new model of social reconciliation, which could be described by four major indicators: recruiting policy, civil-military mutual support movement, the private sector’s engagement in military procurement and private employers’ participation in the reemployment of veterans. This paper compares the PLA’s ideological and policy changes between the 1979-1991 period and the period since 1992, and finds time lags exist between the PLA’s ideological progress and policy innovation, which results from the gap between the CCP’s intention and social opinion. The PLA under certain circumstances is encouraged by political and military leaders to promote its relationship with the new social stratum. Despite the achievements, value barriers, mutual distrust and new partnership challenges still remain serious obstacles. A complete legal system and new thoughts are essential for further development of their relationship.

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