Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Speaking of Coups

This semester of Civil-Military Relations is getting off to a hot start with .... news about a potential crisis in Chinese civil-military relations.  I don't know anything about China or China's military except one thing: officers in the military have gotten deeply involved in the economy.  That is, the military owns businesses that are major actors in the economy, enriching the officers and giving them increased power and stakes.  Does that sound like any place else?  Well, Egypt for one.
There have been too many reminders in the Chinese state media that “the Party controls the gun”—that the PLA reports to civilians—to think that this has not become an issue.
I was just saying in lecture today that it is often hard to see if a genuine crisis exists, as disagreements between military officers and civilians are often part of an exchange of ideas.  Again, I don't know much about China, but I do think that we live in interesting times, as they say.

No comments: