China's Entrepreneurial Army offers a fascinating insight into the complex interwoven relationship between state power, military burden, and economic prosperity in today's China. From the early 1980s to the end of the 1990s, the People's Liberation Army went into business to make up forfalling defence spending. It established the world's largest military business complex comprising thousands of army-owned enterprises stretching into virtually every corner of the Chinese economy and overseas. This participation in business gave the military substantial economic strength and allowed it to adapt to the changing locus of power and authority in China in the reform era, which was increasingly measured through economic might. But the rapid ascent of the military commercial juggernaut alsosowed the seeds of its ignominious demise. Corruption, smuggling, and profiteering became so rampant that the political reliability of the military and the health of the Chinese economy began to be undermined. In 1998, the armed forces were ordered to get out of business. Tai Ming Cheung traces the origins, examines the participation, and details the demise of the Chinese military business complex. This path-breaking study is a uniquely comprehensive and in-depth account of this Byzantine and opaque institution, and provides a vivid portrait of the corporations,military units personalities, and other entities that were at the heart of this commercial powerhouse. Based upon extensive research of primary source Chinese publications and field work,China's Entrepreneurial Army looks at the role of the military business complex from a number of different perspectives: its success as a commercial venue, the impact on civil--military relations, and the broaderbenefits and drawbacks of this commercialism on military professionalism and economic modernization in China and elsewhere.