This monograph provides an appraisal of the ability of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to build a credible military force in the 21st century. The author examines a complicated set of factors, which when taken together, equates to potential military power in China's case. Perhaps foremost among these factors is the PRC's current economic success and whether Beijing can transfer it to the military sphere. Colonel Wortzel concludes that China could become a military power in every sense, but the greater likelihood is that the PRC will be overcome by internal problems. Nonetheless, the growth in China's military potential bears careful watching by U.S. military planners.