A July 1998 conference, held in San Diego, California, brought together Chinese military experts to discuss the non-hardware side of the People's Liberation Army's modernization. The result is a comprehensive examination of the critical software side, covering topics as diverse as civil-military relations, professionalism, logistics, training, doctrine, systems integration, and force structure. The 13 chapters present a picture of a PLA that has learned much about the right software for successful combat performance but is facing variable success in implementing the necessary changes throughout the system. The Chinese military's progress in the areas discussed in the papers will ultimately determine whether the PLA will transform itself into a peer competitor with the United States in the 21st century or remain merely a regional military power. The conference was sponsored jointly by the RAND Center for Asia-Pacific Policy and the Taiwan-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies.