The 1962 war has made the Chinese Army appear as an extremely potent force. But in real terms it was fight between an Army (India) which was unprepared and an army (Chinese) that had come with a one point mission. After about 3 weeks of fighting the Chinese decided on a cease fire and vacated almost all the territory they had gained.
On the basis of this war, one may apt to classify the Chinese army as a very lethal force. But a record of the Chinese history does not support the concept, that Chinese army is a very efficient force.Firstly in their battle with Japan during the Second World War, the Chinese army was badly beaten. Again the Chinese invaded Vietnam in 1979 and had a numerical superiority of 3:1. Unfortunately despite this the performance of the Chinese army was not up to the mark.
Even earlier in the Korean War, the Chinese army failed in its primary objective of ousting the UN forces led by the USA. Thus the fact is that the fighting capability of the Chinese armed forces is greatly inflated.
The Chinese armed forces consist of the Peoples Liberation Army, the People's Liberation Fir force and the Navy. Though the Chinese maintain the largest standing army in the world, yet its efficacy as a fighting force must
The biggest problem for the army is its concept of a 'peoples' army. This means a certain neglect of the development of the Officer cadre.Also the complete indoctrination by the communist party must have some effect on decision making and that will be translated to ground level action, which may not be all that happy. The PlAAF also does not have any strategic long range bombers and though in numbers they have a lot of first line aircraft, yet in real terms its efficacy to wage a sustained war must be severely doubted.
The navy has no aircraft carrier and in that respect is more of a coastal defense force. In a conventional war the Chinese may be hard put to over run a disciplined army, like the Indian army. They will perhaps follow a policy of mass attacks, with resultant heavy causalities. However the constraints of leadership, dominated by the communist party, in the end may make the Chinese Army, Navy and Air force not so lethal a combination after all.