The Chinese militia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes three factors — ideological principles contained in the Marxist-Leninist canon, the developmental pattern of the Chinese revolution, and elite politics within the People's Republic of China (PRC) —, and assesses their impact on civil-military relations in the PRC. The idea of reliance on the armed masses had considerable appeal for leaders of the nascent Chinese Communist party (CCP). The CCP considered the training and organization of militarily skilled and politically aware citizens important not only for external defense but for internal revolution. Command and control issues have focused on the mix of powers that party and military are to exercise, separately or concurrently, over the militia. Views on the optimum size of the militia have ranged from a large mass organization of citizen soldiers on the one hand to a small well-trained elite usually serving mainly as reserves for the People's Liberation Army on the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCommunist Armies in Politics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429708428
ISBN (Print)9780367022204
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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