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The Dragon's Teeth by Benjamin Lai  The Dragon's Teeth by Benjamin Lai

The Dragon's Teeth by Benjamin Lai

The Dragon's Teeth by Benjamin Lai

                                                                        The Dragon's Teeth

                                                            Benjamin Lai  


 This book is about the the armed forces of the People's Republic of China. It couldn't have come at a better time. With the tense situations we are now seeing in Asia, it is a perfect time to look at the armed might of one of the largest players. The subtitle says it is about the Chinese People's Liberation army, but in its pages you will find information about China's land, sea, and air capabilities.The author was born in Hong Kong and went to school as a naval architect. Then he joined the British Army reserves and served in a number of roles therein. So he is well versed in the different areas he discusses.

 The first part of the book is a short history of the Chinese communist party and the creation of the People's Liberation Army. Then it goes into the different actions that happened between China and other countries during the cold war period. Some of these actions and spying mission counter-warfare are pretty much unknown to the west. The author elaborates on the Chinese actions to stop the US U2 spying missions. He also goes into the different small conflicts between China and Vietnam. The other two thirds of the book are devoted to the Chinese armed forces as they are today, with some history of the different weapons programs thrown in.

 The appendices list every weapon in use at this moment in time, from rifles to rockets. Also included are all of the planes and ships used by China's armed forces. 

 This book also brings to light all of the Soviet Union/Russia arms dealings that have occurred over the many decades between the two countries. I was surprised to read this, knowing about all of the extremely bloody border clashes that have occurred between them over the years.

 The book has numerous pages that are actually gray in color that write about different weapon systems, or where events are gone over in detail. It goes into the change in China from relying on weapon systems bought abroad, to a full-fledged in house research and development establishment. It goes into great depth of how the Chinese are working toward a main battle tank for the 21st century. The book shows comparisons between the spending of both China and the US. While the Chinese are increasing their defense spending, it is nowhere near the amount that the US spends. The author also goes into some depth talking about the Chinese strategic thought and its actions in recent years.

 All in all, the book is a well written clear and concise history and appreciation of the Chinese armed forces. The appendices alone are worth the price of the book. There are also thirty-four pages of photographs of old and new equipment and people. This book fills a void that has existed in much of the west of the true Chinese capabilities at this point in time. 


Author: Benjamin Lai
Publisher: Casemate
Date of review: 9/3/2016