Flags and gold figures representing China and United States

Arming the Eagle, Outpacing the Dragon: Understanding and Out Competing China’s Defense Acquisition and Innovation System

By Dan Ward , Matt MacGregor

"Arming the Eagle" examines the Chinese military’s approach to acquisition & innovation, highlighting their primary strategies for fielding new military capabilities. It then recommends strategies the DoD should adopt to maintain a technical advantage.

Download Resources

Over the past two decades, the Chinese government has made considerable progress in transforming the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a modern force through strategic reorganization, highly focused warfighting concepts, and technological advances.

To address the challenge of a competitor gaining military parity, the Department of Defense (DoD) needs to better understand Chinese strategies and approaches to technology development, innovation, and defense acquisition. This understanding will enable the United States to respond more effectively in countering those strategies and potentially provide insights that can drive internal change to our own systems. This paper aims to help increase the DoD’s understanding of the PLA’s strategy around acquisition and innovation.