Discuss the importance of PLA as a political institution in China since 1978 (25m)
The PLA arguably plays an importance role in defining China, being one of the three political institutions that rule China- namely the PLA, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese state. This tripartite relationship surely means that no sector is redundant and every institution has its own roles and has a certain significant value. In this question, we will address if the PLA is of great significance to China- which I believe is true to a certain extent but yet its progress is limited by the CCP. CCP is still known to call the shots and make decisions for the PLA, and thus it has very little prerogative of how it should be governed or where it should work towards. However, it has to be known that the PLA has several achievements of its own that should be recognized, and this should be added unto the value that it holds.
The PLA has been extremely successful in building rapport with the civilians, and this is immensely important for gaining loyalty from fellow Chinese. Upon the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, the PLA was immediately sent out to perform relief operations. This action touched many civilians as they proved to be there just when help was needed the most, and thus the PLA is also known as the "Army of the people". The PLA is also largely responsible for the Chinese Space Program in 2003 where everyone selected was from the PLA air force. Being the third country to send its people up into space, China made it into international headlines and this instilled national pride in many of the people.
The PLA also plays a pivotal role in sustaining China's economic growth by ensuring internal stability so...