PLA watching is as much of an art as it is a science. It requires open-mindedness to be complemented by the application of critical thinking. It demands an individual to consider information which may not be classified as credible in common parlance, alongside the need for a constant vigilance against false information. It requires one to give up nationalistic and degrading stereotypes and to challenge certain fundamental biases rooted in inter-group social psychology.
This page is currently a work-in-progress, but I intend on creating a series of posts that will allow individuals new to PLA watching, to more confidently navigate through the plethora of news, commentary, pictures, and rumours, to try and ascertain the most accurate vision of the Chinese military possible through open source information and sources.
-Fundamental rules of PLA watching: this entry outlines the logic and mindset one needs when watching the PLA, such as valuing the importance of rumours, rejecting common stereotypes, maintaining vigilance against doctored photos, and appreciating the opacity of official Chinese military disclosures.
-Sources for PLA watching: this entry describes the various sources one should avoid versus the sources one should routinely visit, for following the newest developments in the Chinese military.
-Stages of PLA watching: this entry will outline the stages of gestation of new Chinese military advancements, from the initial stages of unsubstantiated rumours, to the final stages of acceptance and dissemination by mainstream media outlets. Examples will be provided depicting past Chinese miltiary developments to demonstrate the varying stages.