2008 PLA Conference

PLA Missions Beyond Taiwan

Leading specialists from academe, government, the military, and policy think-tanks convened from September 28–30, 2008 for the nineteenth annual People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Conference, “PLA Missions Beyond Taiwan.”

Conference participants sought to look beyond the PLA’s primary focus on Taiwan in order to explore China’s other military missions and objectives, including disaster and humanitarian relief, United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNPKO), counterterrorism and border defense, and outer space and cyberspace security.

The conference’s primary objectives were to examine the interplay between China’s armed forces and its increasingly complex foreign policy and international security environment in order to understand the requirements of several emerging PLA missions, and to consider how these specific interactions affect policy toward the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Conference Publications and Book Launch

Book Launch Event Agenda and Audio


Welcome and introduction
Richard Bush, The Brookings Institution

Army War College greetings
Steven Metz, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College

Bush School greetings
Andrew Scobell, Texas A&M


Chair and Overview
Roy Kamphausen, The National Bureau of Asian Research

How China Manages Internal Security Challenges and its Impact on PLA Missions
Murray Scot Tanner, CNA

PLA Missions in Frontier Security and Counterterrorism
Robert Modarelli, National Center for APEC

Prospects for China’s Military Space Efforts
Dean Cheng, CNA

China’s Regional Power Projection: Prospects for Future Missions in the South and East China Seas
Mark Cozad, U.S. Government

PLA ‘Joint’ Operational Contingencies in South Asia, Central Asia, and Korea
Larry Wortzel, Colonel, US Army, Retired


David Lai, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College

Dennis Wilder, John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution



Richard Bush, The Brookings Institution