What the world says about China's army for the people

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-01 06:42

Foreign journalists, experts and servicemen comment about the army led by the Chinese Communist Party.

Red Army

Several things surprised me about the Red Army: their discipline and morale; their equipment and first-rate training; their political consciousness and the high quality of the leadership; their wholesome democracy and immense pride in themselves. And the fact that without doubt they are the happiest people in China while living what is proverbially the hardest "coolie" life in the world, a life on the edge of nothing... These are all survivors of the fittest, the finest specimens of the human race that China has produced. And for those die-hards who persist in regarding the Chinese as inferior and "fit only to be a nation of slaves", it may be added that these are a new species of what they call "Chinese". They are what they are, struggling to create; revolutionaries, fighting to purify their nation of all the ancient death and colonialism and corruption of the old China. These are Fighting Chinese on crusade, taking history in their stride.

Inside Red China by Nym Wales (Helen Foster Snow, 1907-97)

Eighth-Route Army

I had already discovered that the words ti pa lu - eighth route - were a magic formula throughout the Shansi (Shanxi) countryside. But never before had I seen it work so clearly... The first place we stopped at, where a company of the Eighth Route Army was stationed, was thronged with peasants - men, women and girls. Many of them carried baskets of provisions. "Is it a 'chi' - a Chinese fair?" I asked in astonishment. Wu grinned involuntarily. "No. They have heard that the Eighth Route Army is here, and they know now that they will be safe." It was the simple truth, and the most heartening thing we had seen since we left headquarters.

North China Front by James Bertram (1910-93), British journalist

New Fourth Army

Of the three basic rules of the army the first is: "Fight against the Japanese to the last. There must be no surrender to the enemy and no compromise with him." The second enjoins obedience to orders. The third stresses that all fighters of the New Fourth must love the people and respect their interests and feelings as they would their own... When the New Fourth Army came to a village, it sent one man forward to talk with the people, and the man went unarmed. It promised to pay for everything it needed, and it kept its promise. When the people brought the commanders presents of pigs and chickens, they found, to their surprise, that these presents were refused. Instead, the army bought food, and invited the peasants to banquets, at which its leaders asked them if they had any complaint to make of the army's behavior. They, the people, were the masters, and the New Fourth Army was responsible to them and acknowledged its responsibility... Inseparable links have been forged between the people and the army. They are sharing struggle and poverty, and the beginning of democracy and reconstruction. And they are building up together on the Yangtze, on the basis of the United Front, one of those in destructible strongholds of resistance that arises everywhere where the people are fighting for themselves.

The People's War by Israel Epstein (1919-2005), journalist and writer

The Chinese Volunteers

He (Douglas MacArthur, first UN troops commander in the Koran War) urged me especially not to undersetimate the Chinese "Walker (Lieutenant General Walton Walker, the first commander of the US Eighth Army during the Korean War) reported that the Chinese avoid roads, using the ridges and hills as avenues of approach. They will attack in depth. Their firepower in the hands of their infantry is more extensively used than our own. The enemy moves and fights at night."

The Korean War by Matthew B. Ridgway

People's Liberation Army

I have had contact with the People's Liberation Army for some years and I am very much impressed by their professionalism and modern outlook. Military science is growing as fast as information technology. Everything keeps changing, weapons are changing, and the physiology and attitude of the troops also need to keep changing to succeed in battles. The PLA understands all these factors so they are underlining cyber war, war under different climate conditions, war against different types of troops, conventional war, unconventional war and so on. I have found broad and in-depth understanding among the PLA officers and that is what's needed in a modern military.

Madhav D Nalapat, geopolitics professor and UNESCO Chair with Manipal University, India

(China Daily 08/01/2007 page21)

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