While the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues to grow as a great power within the Asian region, its military continues to seek and develop commensurate military capabilities. People's Liberation Army (PLA) ambitions to modernize provoke a number of questions regarding underlying PLA rationale and motivation. Specifically, what has driven the PLA to choose to become less of a rural based guerilla force primarily focused on defense, and more of a modern, and Western-like standing military with a credible offensive capability? Further, what events, in particular, have shaped, and continue to shape PLA thinking in this regard? This monograph argues that three events in particular-the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese conflict, the 1991 United States (U.S.) Gulf War, and U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military action against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999-have contributed to a consistent PLA movement toward greater Westernization in its approaches toward and preparations for war. The abysmal performance of the PLA during the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese conflict marked the nadir for the Maoist operating concept of people's war, and served as a point of departure toward greater military Westernization. Additionally, both the 1991 Gulf War, and U.S. and NATO military action in Kosovo served to reinforce the trend in modern Chinese military development toward greater Westernization.