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Mixed Motives, Uncertain Outcomes: Defense Conversion in China

Jorn Brömmelhörster and John Frankenstein, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-710-1
1997/278 pages/LC: 96-27539

"This volume is ... in many ways, the definitive statement on the progress of [China's Defense] industry to date.... [It] is the most comprehensive examination of the subject ever assembled in one volume."—James Mulvenon, The China Quarterly

"This well-researched volume provides a comprehensive and multidisciplinary analysis of the Chinese case, against the background of China's overall economic transition and modernization process."—Xu Yi-chong, China Information

"Sit[s] in this reviewer's top ten list of edited volumes on contemporary China.... The findings of this high-quality volume on the defence industries of China ought to receive more attention from international affairs specialists."—Greg Austin, The China Journal

"A first-rate collection of essays on defense conversion in China ... represents an outstanding and riveting introduction to a murky subject."—Kyklos International Review for Social Sciences


Mixed Motives, Uncertain Outcomes looks critically at China's efforts to adapt its vast military- industrial complex to the service of its socialist market economy. The authors—all of whom have witnessed or participated first-hand in the country's defense conversion—offer political, macroeconomic, business, and military perspectives on this complex issue.

The book places the conversion process in the context of China's military modernization, the reforms of its business and industrial enterprises, and the international problematic of change in transitional economies. Beijing's underlying strategy, the authors conclude, attempts to combine sometimes conflicting objectives- defense industry modernization at minimal economic and social cost-and its success is by no means assured.


Jörn Brömmelhörster is Public Resource Management Specialist on South Asian Countries at the Asian Development Bank. John Frankenstein has been senior lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, a fellow at the university's Centre for Asian Studies, and most recently, visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School's Asia Research Center. His publications include studies for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, as well as articles for The Economist Intelligence Unit, The International Executive, and Long Range Planning.


  • China's Defense Industry Conversion: A Strategic Overview—J. Frankenstein.
  • Conversion and National Security—K. Möller.
  • An Economic Analysis—F.C. Fu and C.K. Li.
  • Conversion and Restructuring of China's Defense Industry—B.L. Chai.
  • Defense Conversion in the Chinese Press—K.P. Ng.
  • Converting the Military-Aviation Industry to Civilian Use—Y. Shichor.
  • The Regional Implications of Defense Conversion: The Case of the "Third Line" and Guizhou—A.S. Ding.
  • A Business Perspective—R.J. Latham.
  • THE PLA.
  • The Chinese Army's New Marching Orders: Winning on the Economic Battlefield—T.M. Cheung.
  • Market Competition and the Management Systems of PLA Companies—M. Chen.
  • Semantic Differences: Comparing Defense Conversion in China and Russia—J. Brömmelhörster.