People's Liberation Army

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Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Liberation Army
China emblem PLA.svg
Commander in Chief
de jure :
Chairman of the ZMK
Xi Jinping
Commander in chief de facto : The Central Military Commission
Defense Minister: General Wei Fenghe
Military Commander: Chief of Staff
Fang Fenghui
Military leadership: The commanders of the armed forces and the heads of the military departments
Headquarters: Ministry of Defense in Beijing
Military strength
Active soldiers: 2,260,000 (as of 2017)
Reservists: 1,452,500 (as of 2017)
Resilient population: Men (age: 18-49): 281,240,271
women (age: 18-49): 269,025,517
Eligibility for military service: 17th-50th Age
up to 65 years for officers
Share of soldiers in the total population: 0.17%
Military budget: 261 billion US dollars (2019)
Share of gross domestic product : 1.9% (2019)

The People's Liberation Army , short: VBA ( Chinese  中國人民解放軍  /  中国人民解放军 , Pinyin Zhōnggúo Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn , or the internationally common English name People's Liberation Army, short: PLA) are the regular armed forces of the People's Republic of China . In the event of war, it is supported by the People's Armed Police and the People's Militia . The Chinese People's Liberation Army is the strongest military in the world and has aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons .


Prehistory and development until 1949

Entry of the People's Liberation Army into Beijing in 1948

The Communist Party of China formed regularly organized armed formations for the first time for the Nanchang uprising under the name Red Army ( 紅軍  /  红军 , hóngjūn ). In this uprising, after the end of the First United Front , the communists tried to build a state that would compete with the Republic of China . The uprising failed because of the military superiority of the Kuomintang .

Today's People 's Liberation Army lists August 1, 1927 as its founding date in its tradition. In the civil war that followed, the communist associations switched to guerrilla warfare against the Kuomintang (KMT). They operated against the nationalists from inaccessible, rural base areas. The communists pursued a defensive strategy with the aim of allowing the enemy forces to penetrate and occupy them in order to then defeat them when the opportunity arises. In the following decade, the nationalists proceeded with encirclement and suppression operations against the communists and were able to successfully reduce their base areas step by step.

In October 1934, 86,000 remaining party members and members of the Red Army started the Long March from Jingxi to Shaanxi in order to evade the access of the KMT armed forces. About 4,000 remaining soldiers and party cadres built a new base for their movement in Yan'an . During the Long March, Mao Tse Tung became the political leader of the CCP, whose personality cult also claimed the role of a genius military leader. In military matters, Mao had a good working relationship with Zhu De , who, as a staff officer, had the necessary military qualifications.

The Kuomintang's civil war with the Red Army was interrupted from 1937 by the Second Sino-Japanese War, which lasted until 1945.

After the end of World War II, fighting flared up again between the Communists and the Kuomintang. From 1948, the military situation allowed the communists to move from guerrilla warfare to regular military operations. In 1949 the Kuomintang fled and established the Republic of China in Taiwan . On the mainland, the communists founded the People's Republic of China .

See also: Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945)

Establishment and development years of the armed forces of the PRC

On October 1, 1949, the Red Army was renamed the People's Liberation Army . At that time it comprised 5.5 million soldiers and was divided into 5 independently operating field armies . The first naval forces entered service in the spring of 1949. The Air Force of the People's Republic of China was established in November 1949. In both of these armed forces, the People's Republic relied on personnel and material from the defeated Kuomintang. Some Japanese aircraft also became the property of the People's Republic of China. In the course of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Treaty of 1950, the PR China oriented itself towards the allied Soviet Union to organize the People's Liberation Army.

During the Korean War , the Chinese military intervention ensured the existence of North Korea . The People's Liberation Army suffered around one million losses, around half of which were killed.

In 1954 a Ministry of Defense was established. As a minister, Peng Dehuai set himself the goal of professionalizing the People's Liberation Army. He also called for the dual command between the military leader and the political officer to be abolished , but could not prevail against Mao. In 1955, regular military ranks were introduced. Despite the Korean War, the People's Liberation Army had been reduced to around 3 million men by 1952. By 1957 there was a reduction to 2.2 million soldiers.

See also:

Development towards a nuclear power

The Soviet Union pledged aid in building up the Chinese nuclear weapons potential, which, in addition to the provision of scientific data and specialists, was to include the transfer of a functional atomic bomb. The transfer of a nuclear weapon was never carried out. When Nikita Khrushchev came to power , the Sino-Soviet relationship cooled off. In 1960, the Soviet government withdrew its last nuclear specialists from China.

China's first successful nuclear weapon test took place in October 1964. A few months earlier, the People's Liberation Army tested the Dongfeng-2, their first self-developed surface -to-surface missile . In July 1966, the People's Liberation Army established its own Strategic Missile Forces with the 2nd Artillery Corps . The first test of a hydrogen bomb took place in June 1967 . In the 1960s, the planned expansion of military industrial capacities in the country's inland provinces also took place with the aim of minimizing the possible damage to the war industry from a nuclear war.

On October 16, 1964, the People's Republic of China renounced the first use and confirmed it on April 5, 1995 and June 2005.

In July 2019, the White Paper on China's Military Strategy stated: “China has always stated that it will never, under any circumstances, be the first to use nuclear weapons or threaten non-nuclear states or zones with them. China advocates the complete ban and destruction of nuclear weapons. It will not participate in the nuclear arms race and will keep its nuclear weapons at the minimum level necessary for its security. "

Development in the 1960s and 1970s

In the Great Leap Forward , Defense Minister Peng Dehuai fell from grace and was replaced by Lin Biao . Luo Ruiqing , a political officer, assumed the post of chief of staff . Both were considered political allies of Mao and focused on the politicization of the army. As a result, the soldiers' time for political education and political work was set at around 30–40% of the service time. The army became the model and model propagated by the CCP for all of Chinese society.

In the 1960s, Defense Minister Lin Biao politically moved the army closer to radical Maoism and strengthened the ideological cadre to the detriment of the officers. Between 1967 and 1969, 80,000 officers were charged. Around 1,000 of them were executed or died from the conditions of detention, including torture and starvation.

During the Cultural Revolution , the People's Liberation Army intervened in the struggle of the Red Guards . It also happened that military units of different origins were on different sides. From 1968 the army became the main instrument of the party leadership to restore order in the country. Army officers took over civil administrative posts. Out of control areas were brought into line by Military Control Commissions. In 1971 around half of the civil administration posts and around 70 percent of the leadership posts in the provinces were occupied by VBA officers. During the Cultural Revolution, the armed forces were increased to around four million members. Due to the political role, the military readiness for action suffered.

Lin Biao fell out with Mao in 1971. On the one hand, Mao wanted to reduce the political and administrative role of the PLA and sought rapprochement with the United States, which Lin criticized. The defense minister died in a plane crash while attempting to leave the country for Soviet-controlled Mongolia. Lin Biao's partisans were removed from the officer corps and by 1973 the role of officers in civil administration had been reduced significantly.

See also:

Development in the 1980s

In the course of the reform and opening-up policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping , the People's Liberation Army was given a low priority. During the 1980s the military budget stagnated. The army itself had to continue to run companies as an economic actor in order to meet its own needs for food and items of light industry . To this end, the armed forces led up to 20,000 different companies. The army's economic role led to problems with corruption and smuggling.

The State Central Military Commission was created as the supreme control body . In 1985, a new, highest military academy was created with the National Defense University .

Since the beginning of the 1980s, the People's Republic of China was divided into the seven military regions of Lanzhou, Beijing, Shenyang, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu, which in turn were subdivided into a total of 28 provincial districts. This subdivision applied to the army and air force, which had separate headquarters in the individual regions . The navy was divided into three fleets. On January 1, 2016, they were replaced by the five “war zones”.

By 1988 the troop strength had been reduced to around three million. With the reduction in personnel, the field armies were abolished and replaced by army groups.

In the 1980s, the People's Liberation Army was expanded to include army aviation associations and units for electronic warfare . It was also in this phase that the naval forces began to focus on operations outside the immediate coastal waters of China.

From 1989 special units in battalion or brigade size were set up, which can carry out different tactical tasks according to the increasing professionalism. To a limited extent, the People's Liberation Army tried to lay the foundations for mechanized combat management, which should replace the forms of deployment that had been based on infantry up to now.

In 1988 the armed forces received new uniforms, which were not based on Maoist models, but on the western military . To a limited extent, the People's Liberation Army tried to lay the foundations for mechanized warfare, which should replace the doctrine that had hitherto been based on infantry.

In 1989, PLA forces put down a popular uprising in the capital Beijing in the Tian'anmen massacre . Hundreds to thousands of deaths occurred among the protesting civilian population. The soldiers involved received wristwatches with propagandistic motifs after the deployment, which served as an award for the fighting against the population.

Conflicts from the military-geographic situation in China

The reunification with the island nation of Taiwan is seen by many Chinese politicians and military officials as a top strategic goal. This claim is also expressed in the deployment , which stationed the most modern weapons systems and the best-trained units in the coastal regions opposite Taiwan. With the Anti-Secession Act of March 2005, the National People's Congress gave the State Council the power to decide on the use of non-peaceful means with regard to Taiwan. Previously, this decision lay solely with the Central Military Commission. This move was heavily criticized by Taiwan and the US, as it would make it easier for the Chinese government to take military action against Taiwan. However, before the anti-secession law was passed by the National People's Congress, there was no legal regulation for an attack on Taiwan; the VR could have attacked Taiwan at any time and without justification. With the Anti-Secession Act there is a legal restriction, and decision-making power is now divided between two bodies, the ZMK and the Council of State.

Conflicts arise from North Korea's rearmament efforts and the more offensive orientation of the Japanese self-defense forces .

The stationing of the most modern armored divisions and the rapid reaction troops of the Army, the 15th Airborne Division and the 38th and 39th Armies in the adjacent military regions of Beijing and Shenjang testify to the alignment against Korea.

From the Chinese point of view, further trouble spots are the island of Sakhalin , where the main conflict parties Russia, Japan and the neighboring nuclear power North Korea also have interests.

There has always been a dispute over some marine regions in the South China Sea , the border with India in the Himalayas, the areas of the Tibetans and other border minorities as well as the conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighboring states of India and Pakistan.

In the course of the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, economic aspects are also becoming increasingly important for the Chinese military. The Strait of Malacca comes into focus , as around 80 percent of China's oil imports are transported through it.

Important guidelines of the Chinese geostrategy are the “first and second chain of islands”. The former joins Japan to the south, runs east of Taiwan, west of the Philippine coast, through the South China Sea and along the Vietnamese coast. China claims military control within this sea zone. The second chain of islands runs far out into the Pacific and extends to the Mariana Islands , Guam , Micronesia and Palau . In this area the People's Republic is striving for military operational capability.

Military reforms in the 2000s

The total number of soldiers decreased by the year 2009 from 4.24 million soldiers (in 1985) to around 2.2 million (2009). This reduced the number of field armies from 35 to 24 and the number of military districts from 11 to 7.

From the 2010s onwards, the Chinese leadership greatly modernized the People's Liberation Army: since 2009, spending on the military has increased by over 80 percent. State and party leader Xi Jinping invests more than any of his predecessors in the People's Liberation Army and in 2016 initiated the largest structural reform of the Chinese armed forces since the 1950s. A strong military is described as a central building block in the modernization of China. The goal was specified that by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 2049, the country should have risen to become a military superpower .

In the course of the reform in China's national defense and in the armed forces and for the military realignment, the requirements of the information age should be met. The 2019 White Paper names the following results:

  • the reorganization and new formation of the organs of the state Central Military Commission: General Staff, Political Headquarters, Headquarters Logistics, Headquarters Armament and Equipment and 15 assigned administrations;
  • the reduction of the traditional seven military districts of national defense (Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu) to five strategic military districts (MB, "war zones"): MB East, MB South, MB West, MB North and Central MB. (The territorial extent of the MB does not follow the administrative structure of the country.);
  • the creation of a joint command center for the command of the armed forces and branches: land forces (army), naval forces (navy), air forces (air force), rocket forces, strategic support forces, security forces;
  • the reorganization of the main administration of the land forces;
  • the reduction of the previous 18 army groups (AG) to 13 AG;
  • the reduction of the armed forces by 300,000 to two million;
  • the reorganization of troops and the creation of combat forces of a new type;
  • reducing the number of universities and technical schools from 77 to 44 as well
  • the establishment of an academy for military science and new research institutes.

The structure of the militia and reserve forces was adapted to the development of the armed forces. Their function was extended to all branches of the armed forces.

In addition to the purpose of national defense, mobile, integrated and globally deployable armed forces are to be created. As a result, the air and naval forces have gained in importance. The armed forces underline the geopolitical-strategic claim of the country with the first self-built Chinese aircraft carrier , which has been in service since 2012 and is intended to be the basis for conventionally powered STOBAR aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered CATOBAR aircraft carriers (project target 2030).

Economic functions of the VBA

The mobilization of the peasants and the successful economic supply of the army on the Long March was an essential and formative element of the revolution in China. From the very beginning, the VBA was forced to guarantee its own food supply on its own.

The People's Liberation Army was present as an economic actor until long after the civil war - both in terms of land ownership and business activity within and beyond the armaments sector. The Ministry of Munitions produced half a million civil motorcycles, bicycles and cameras and around 100,000 refrigerators in 1985 and made a significant contribution to the production of consumer goods. The People's Liberation Army has meanwhile achieved a profit of around 4 billion euros with almost 20,000 companies and was thus able to cover its budget in part on its own. The army was also involved in educational and entertainment media.

During the reform and opening-up policy , the military budgets fell, but Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping allowed the military to expand its business areas to include civilian markets. This enabled us to mobilize unused resources for the economic restructuring of the planned economy and to win over the military leadership for the opening course. The peak of economic activity subordinated to the military was reached in the mid-1990s. The approximately 20,000 military-owned companies generated around 7-10 billion US dollars in profits annually. Companies also included large conglomerates such as China Poly Group , Songliao Group and Sanju-Enterprises .

The politically significant separation of the extensive civilian business activities from the military began in several steps at the beginning of the 1980s and at the turn of the millennium.

The army is still a central educational institution and is also an important player in infrastructure measures. Former military personnel make up a large part of China's economic and political elite.

In 2020, the International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) succeeded for the first time in assessing the extent of Chinese arms production; Until then, due to the lack of transparent data from China, its armaments companies were not classified in a global comparison. According to SIPRI, the People's Republic of China mainly produces armaments for its own military. According to SIPRI, an important reason for this is that the country's leadership wants to become completely independent of other states, primarily Russia, when it comes to arms issues. Today, the Chinese armaments industry offers artillery and handguns as well as all other complex weapon systems for export. Missiles, radar systems and military drones from other manufacturers are in some cases plagiarized, manufactured and exported.

Development plans for the 2020s

The 2019 White Paper on China's Military Strategy, published by the government, describes the status and development directions for the 2020s. For the first time, the entire system of the country's military policy is presented.

The determination of the Chinese leadership to reliably guarantee its own sovereignty and security and to bring about reunification with Taiwan becomes clear. At the same time, it is a declaration to reject any hegemony, to guarantee peace and military-strategic stability.

The military and armaments program presented therein is an expression of and part of the new self-image of the People's Republic of China. The country is aware of its potential and strength. It accepted the challenge of the United States of America.

China reiterates that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons and calls for a complete ban and destruction of nuclear weapons. The own component for deterring a potential opponent should be kept as low as possible.

Political leadership

Until 1981, the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China was the sole supreme authority. The members of the central military commission of the party, which is organized in parallel to its state counterpart, are appointed by its central committee.

The armed forces of the People's Republic of China have been led by the state Central Military Commission (ZMK) since 1982 . The chairman of the state Central Military Commission is elected by the National People's Congress, the remaining members are proposed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and elected by the National People's Congress or its standing committee.

Numerous military-related tasks such as armaments policy, infrastructure and transport with consideration of military requirements, civil protection and preparation for mobilization fall within the competence of the State Council , especially the Ministry of Defense, and thus the civilian government. However, the political and military leadership as well as the Communist Party are closely interlinked: All senior officials in the generals hold high party offices; a large number of the decision-makers in the state and party have a military rank or have been active officers in the course of their careers. In addition, the Ministry of Defense mainly performs administrative and representative tasks. This is how the defense minister receives his foreign counterparts, although he is not part of the chain of command, as is usual in many countries .

Defense Minister of the People's Republic of China is Wei Fenghe (as of April 2019).

The claim to leadership of the party for social development was particularly in October 2019 with the 4th meeting of the Central Committee of the XIX. Party congresses of the CCP and in a changed political-strategic course determination. The white paper on China's military strategy of July 2019, which to a certain extent anticipates the military-political consequences of this groundbreaking 4th conference, points to the close connection between the party and the army . The Chinese Communist Party is pragmatic and extremely flexible in its behavior. She is able and ready to change course constantly. And she also has strategic patience. Behind this is the experience of approx. 5000 years of state existence in China; No other country on earth has this treasure.

Order for China's armed forces of the 2020s

Security framework

Threats to national security in China are measured against factors and conditions that directly or indirectly provide an opportunity to harm national interests. The 2019 White Paper indicates the following framework conditions:

  • The US has changed its strategy and is implementing a unilateral policy, increasing its defense spending, strengthening its nuclear weapons potential. They are building a cross-border base and missile defense system, including the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system in South Korea.
  • NATO has expanded territorially and is stationing more troops in Central and Eastern Europe, with exercises and maneuvers.
  • Russia is increasing its nuclear and conventional potential.
  • Japan has realigned its military policy.
  • The European Union is stepping up its efforts to build up its own military component.
  • The non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains problematic; Extremism and terrorism are spreading.

China defines its security risks in the 2020s from complex dangers and challenges. The separatist forces of "Taiwan independence" continue to be the greatest threat to peace, stability in the Taiwan Strait and the reunification of the country. In addition, foreign separatist forces are constantly campaigning for the "independence of Tibet" and the establishment of an "East Turkestan". There are also disputes about the territorial sovereignty of some islands and about maritime borders.

Military-political goals of the national defense of China

In the 2019 White Paper , the consistent safeguarding of China's sovereignty, the readiness for defense and the modernization of the state are emphasized as fundamental goals of national defense.

External relations should be based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence . Accordingly, China wants to avoid or resist any aggression, reject Taiwan's aspirations for independence, and hold down the separatist movements for an “independence of Tibet” and the establishment of an “East Turkistan”. China's maritime rights and interests overseas, in space and in cyberspace should be secured. The People's Republic of China regards the islands in the South and East China Seas as inalienable Chinese territory. It wants to guarantee the freedom of navigation and air traffic in accordance with international law. The fundamental interest in resolving the Taiwan question and reunification is reiterated.

Military-political armed forces commission

According to the 2019 White Paper , the armed forces of the PRC will be mandated for the 2020s to guarantee the territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of China, to maintain constant readiness for action and to conduct exercises under real combat conditions.

Further efforts should be made in the main areas of security - nuclear weapon security management, security in space and cyberspace. According to current law, the armed forces should take part in operations to consolidate social order and prevent unrest and terrorism.

The People's Liberation Army has to support international security and military cooperation to safeguard China's overseas interests. The participation of the armed forces in disaster operations is intended.

The armed people's militia is tasked with protecting important objects and traffic junctions as an independent armed forces, supporting the civilian administrations in the fight against criminal gangs and maintaining public order.

Insert forms

The central concept of Chinese military strategy is “active defense”. It means that China will not open combat operations or wage wars of aggression on its own initiative . According to this principle, military operations are only considered to be justified if they are defending national sovereignty or the territory of the People's Republic. Attacks are therefore only permitted if China itself has been attacked beforehand. However, what is considered an attack is not clearly defined. The 1979 invasion of Vietnam was justified as a “counterattack for self-defense”.

In addition, the Chinese strategy is increasingly discovering the challenge of “local wars under the conditions of information technology” (official defense report 2004). This model is intended to replace the old orientation, in which the VBA should above all be able to defend the Chinese national territory on the ground through the use of large numbers of people and material. The new concept is to move units faster. The higher speed and range of movement should firstly make it possible to form sufficiently strong troop concentrations within the country with an overall smaller army. Secondly, it should make it possible to achieve military effects over greater distances and to be able to be deployed more quickly even in distant places. In addition, the importance of operations involving all four branches of the armed forces is growing. In 1999, this form of combat was enshrined in an official Chinese military doctrine for the first time. In order to achieve these goals, intensive efforts are being made to improve the processes and technology for communication , leadership and education. However, the VBA is still facing great difficulties in coordinating the various branches of the armed forces. In addition, all units of the Chinese military are likely to be massively restricted in their capabilities due to the poorly developed logistics for supplying supplies. This applies in particular to possible operations further away from the mother country. In Chinese military circles, possible uses of armed forces that are below the threshold of war are also increasingly being discussed.

Presumably the US military actions in Afghanistan and the Third Gulf War were analyzed in Chinese military and research circles in order to draw conclusions for the further development of the VBA. The US Department of Defense sees the rapid victory of its troops over Iraq during the Second Gulf War in 1991 as a decisive factor for the modernization of the VBA, especially the communication structures, which has accelerated since the 1990s. The air war against Serbia ( Kosovo War ) in 1999 had a similar exemplary effect, especially in the field of air defense and electronic warfare ( EloKa ) .

China is also increasingly beginning to use non-military tools for security policy. With the Shanghai Cooperation Organization , it is trying to build an organization with which it could achieve a similarly dominant position within the Southeast Asian region as the USA did in NATO .

Use inside

The People's Liberation Army performs numerous tasks within Chinese civil society. In addition to police and border protection tasks, which are carried out in particular by the armed people's police , units from all branches of the armed forces are deployed to help in disaster cases. According to Chinese figures, 600,000 soldiers and 1.39 million members of the militia and reserve were on at least one emergency response in 2007 and 2008. Securing the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing in 2008 was partly the responsibility of VBA units with a total strength of 46,000 and PAPF 85,000.

Soldiers are also regularly called in for construction work to improve the infrastructure.

Leadership, structure and inventory

Strategic leadership, structure and inventory

The highest management body of the armed forces is the state Central Military Commission (ZMK). It leads the armed forces via the high command common to all branches of the armed forces. Your previous command system has been replaced by a new structure with modern management and a new command system. Using a new operational structure, the Chinese armed forces are strategically arranged in five military districts (MB, "War Zones" - 战区, Pinyin Zhànqū ): MB North, East, South, West and Central MB (center). These military districts, as territorial commands, are responsible for the conduct of military operations. Xinjiang and Tibet are designated as two special military areas.

This simplification and centralization is the result of the major military structural reform of 2016, with which the existing traditional 7 military districts of China were dissolved. In the course of this reform, the organs of the Central Military Commission were reorganized. These include: the General Staff, the Political Headquarters, the Headquarters Logistics, the Headquarters Armament and Equipment - structured with a total of 15 administrations that are directly subordinate to the ZMK.

The following army groups (AG) are deployed in the military districts:

  • MB North: 78th, 79th and 80th AG;
  • MB East: 71st, 72nd and 73rd AG;
  • MB South: 74th and 75th AG;
  • MB West: 76th and 77th AG as well as
  • Central MB with 81st, 82nd and 83rd AG.

Bases and stationing abroad

In Sop Hau , Laos in the south of the Champasak province , China is using a military radar facility.

Since 1994, China has been using a base for telecommunications and electronic reconnaissance (SIGINT) and an airfield on the Coco Islands north of the Indian Andaman and Nicobar Islands . In addition, rumors were circulating about a (planned) submarine base. There have been further reconnaissance bases since 1994 in Akjab and on Zadetgyi Kyun (St. Matthew's Island) of the Tanintharyi Division .

In 1998, China signed a contract with Cuba for the use of two SIGINT bases. From 1999, China has been using the Cuban facilities in Bejucal and northwest of Santiago de Cuba .

By 2015 at the latest, it became apparent that China had built extensive military bases on the Spratly Islands for years.

China has had a military base in Djibouti, East Africa, since 2016 .


According to official figures, the People's Liberation Army is the largest army in the world with 2.1 million soldiers . However, these are still poorly equipped in large parts. The last publicly available information on the size of the armed forces that the US government regarded as binding dates back to 1987. At that time, the ground troops comprised 2.1 million (today's estimated number according to US data: 1.25 million active personnel) Navy 350,000, the air force 390,000 and the strategic missile force 100,000 men. In addition, China had a reserve in the narrower sense of around 800,000 men, a militia reserve of 10 million members with mostly poor training levels, and paramilitary police units of around 1.5 million men (according to Chinese data, only just under 900,000 men). According to official information from the Chinese Ministry of Defense, reducing the technological backlog is the greatest challenge for the VBA. As far as is known, the size of the VBA has been reduced several times since about 1990 in favor of better technical equipment and training (most recently by another 200,000 men by the end of 2005), but the military budget increased at the same time. In particular, the proportion of conscripts was significantly reduced. The goal is a smaller, more modern and more powerful army.


The army, air force, navy and missile forces each have their own reserve units. Only the army reserve and the air defense reserve of the air forces comprise direct combat units. The remaining reserve units are primarily support and logistical units. The reserves are set up in units from division size parallel to active VBA units and are each permanently assigned to a civil regional authority in the People's Republic. However, there are also associations that are assigned to individual cities or large industrial companies. One third of the members of a reserve unit should complete a 30-day exercise per year.

From 2006 to 2010, the People's Republic wants to reduce its reserve from ten to eight million members and shift the focus further from combat to support units. Within the totality of the reserve there is a higher degree of mobilization for around 500,000 reservists, so that this manpower could be mobilized in a comparatively short time.

Modernization of weapon systems

Since the mid-1990s, the People's Liberation Army has endeavored to put new, modern weapons systems into service in order to close the technical gap with the western states as well as with Russia and Japan. This led the Air Force to develop the Chengdu J-10 fighter aircraft and the Chengdu J-20 stealth aircraft . The Navy procured the Liaoning aircraft carrier and developed the Jin-class strategic nuclear submarines . The Army created new battle tank Type 99 tank , armored car VN3 , howitzers ZIP-45 and ZIP-05 , armored ZBD-97 , Radpanzer wz551 , rocket launchers WS-2 , anti-aircraft tank type 95 spaaa and attack helicopter WZ-10 in service.

Ethnic composition

According to the data of the 2010 census , the People's Liberation Army had exactly 2,300,000 members on the reference date (November 1, 2010, 12:00 a.m.). Men and officers were distributed among the peoples of China as follows:

Ethnicity number Share in the VBA
People's Liberation Army 2,300,000 100.00%
Han 2,198,314 095.58%
Manju 00 22,627 000.98%
Zhuang 00 11,281 000.49%
Tujia 00 10,075 000.44%
Hui 000 9,859 000.43%
Mongols 000 8,939 000.39%
Yi 000 7,059 000.31%
Miao 000 6,803 000.30%
Tibetans 000 4,300 000.19%
Dong 000 2,892 000.13%
Bai 000 2,645 000.12%
Yao 000 2,108 000.09%
Uighurs 000 2,048 000.09%
Bouyei 000 1,791 000.08%
Korean 000 1,250 000.05%
Li 000 1.010 000.04%
Hani 0000  831 000.04%
She 0000  663 000.03%
Gelao 0000  632 000.03%
Dai 0000  594 000.03%
Xibe 0000  538 000.02%
Qiang 0000  505 000.02%
Naxi 0000  475 000.02%
Kazakhs 0000  424 000.02%
Lisu 0000  287 000.01%
Do 0000  285 000.01%
Daur 0000  260 000.01%
Mulam 0000  243 000.01%
Sui 0000  199 000.01%
Va 0000  157 000.01%
Lahu 0000  135 000.01%
Jingpo 00000  91 000.004%
Evenks 00000  85 000.004%
Primi 00000  80 000.003%
Maonan 00000  66 000.003%
Blang 00000  53 000.002%
Dongxiang 00000  51 000.002%
Kyrgyz 00000  48 000.002%
gin 00000  37 000.002%
Yugur 00000  35 000.002%
Oroqen 00000  30th 000.001%
Achang 00000  28 000.001%
Salar 00000  26th 000.001%
Hezhen 00000  24 000.001%
Russians 00000  23 000.001%
Jino 00000  22nd 000.001%
Nu 00000  15th 000.001%
Uzbeks 00000  13 000.001%
Monba 00000  12 000.001%
Lhoba 000000  7th 000.0003%
Tajiks 000000  6th 000.0003%
Tatars 000000  6th 000.0003%
Gaoshan 000000  6th 000.0003%
Bonan 000000  3 000.0001%
Derung 000000  3 000.0001%
De'ang 000000  1 000.00004%

Research and training

The Chinese Army maintains three major research and training institutes: the Academy of Military Sciences as a central facility, and the National Defense University, which mainly serves to train high-level officers, and the National Defense Technology University for military-technical research and development, as well as for the training of high-level officers Officers in branches of service with a technical focus. All branches of the armed forces also maintain several academic training institutes that concentrate on specific aspects of the respective military “subject”. In training and education, the VBA is increasingly using modern methods, many of which have been copied from other armies ( see C4ISR ). Since the year 2000, exercises, training courses and maneuvers that focus on cooperation between different regional commandos and armed forces seem to have increased significantly. In addition, officer training and further education seem to place greater emphasis on gaining experience in various units and also in branches of the armed forces. In August and September 2009, all seven military districts were brought together for the first time in a joint mobilization exercise with 50,000 soldiers.

NCO career

According to the information provided by the People's Liberation Army to a visiting delegation from USPACOM , they set up a NCO career group in 1978. The NCO career is divided into a technical and a non-technical career group. Only technically trained NCOs, e.g. B. Mechanics, the promotion to the sixth, highest NCO level is permitted. The non-tech-savvy NCOs, usually group leaders, scouts or artillerymen, on the other hand, can only move up to the fourth highest NCO rank. In addition, NCOs serve in the same unit for the entire duration of their careers. The decision about this career group must be made by the applicants after completing their two-year military service.

Armed forces

Honor formation made up of soldiers from all three branches of service

Land forces (army)

The land forces (the army) of the People's Liberation Army constitute the largest part of the armed forces. According to official figures, it includes 1.6 million soldiers. It is divided into 18 army groups and has around 6,700 battle tanks and around 13,600 artillery pieces. Parts of the army are equipped with clearly outdated weapon systems and designed for national defense. Units that can be quickly relocated are under construction.

Naval Forces (Navy)

The naval forces dispose of the submarine fleet, the surface ships, the naval aviators, and the coastal defense. They are divided into three fleets with 215,000 soldiers: divided into the Eastern Fleet (Donghai Fleet), the Southern Fleet (Nanhai Fleet), the Northern Fleet (Beihai Fleet) and the Marine Infantry Corps.

This part of the armed forces is at the center of modernization efforts.

The Chinese Navy has:

Air Force

The Chinese air force consists of the air force, the airborne troops, the ground-air defense, the radio and radio technical troops, the radio technical counteraction.

They consist of 29 divisions with 390,000 soldiers. They can mobilize around 1,800 combat aircraft, 180 reconnaissance aircraft and 300 transport and tanker aircraft.

Missile troops

Range of Chinese short and medium-range missiles in 2005
Range of the Chinese ICBMs 2006

The missile troops are divided into units of strategic, operational-tactical and tactical determination. Depending on the task, they can be equipped with nuclear or conventional warheads.

The Chinese missile forces , also known as the Second Artillery , are directly subordinate to the Central Military Commission and are not subdivided into regions. They were founded in 1966. The commander is General Jing Zhiyuan (as of 2010). The headquarters are in the Qinghe street district of Haidian in Beijing. The missile forces are further divided into an early warning division, a telecommunications regiment, a watch regiment, a technology regiment and six missile divisions. The latter consist of around 20 missile brigades, each equipped with a certain type of missile.

The missile arsenal in the class comprising intercontinental ballistic missiles 20 CSS-4 Mod 2. Furthermore, there are an additional 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles of the type Dong Feng 4 ( CSS-3 ) with a slightly lower range (10 to 15 launchers). A few years ago, a new generation of solid-propellant ICBMs , the Dong Feng 31 CSS-9 with three MIRVs and a mobile launch pad, entered service. This missile has a range of 8000 kilometers (DF-31A: 11,200 km) and an accuracy CEP of 500 meters. Around a dozen of these systems should be ready for use. Chinese CSS-4 Mod 2 ICBMs can reach the entire land surface of the earth except for South America and a small part of Africa. The captured missile type Dong Feng-41 with a range of around 12,000-15,000 kilometers as the successor to the CSS-4 is still in the test phase. First test flight in 2012.

The older Dong Feng 3 ( CSS-2 ) (according to British estimates there are still two ready for action, according to the US 15 to 20 with five to ten launch pads) is being deployed by more modern medium-range missiles of the type CSS-5 / Dong Feng 21 (around 90 in 2010, 75 to 85 launch ramps). The model Dong Feng 25 with mobile, all-terrain launch ramps is also being introduced. The Dong Feng 25 has a range of up to 3,200 kilometers and can carry a two-ton conventional warhead. In contrast to the previous model, ABC warheads should not be provided. In May 2008 it was announced that in the central Chinese province of Haixi near the provincial capital Delingha, a facility with 58 launch ramps for medium-range missiles is to be located on around 2000 square kilometers. In addition, numerous mobile launchers may be stationed in the area.

In particular, the short-range missiles of the types CSS-6 (600 km range) and CSS-7 (300 km range) are being massively modernized in order to increase their accuracy . According to British estimates, in 2007 China had 225 CSS-6s with 70 to 80 mobile launchers and around 500 CSS-7s with 100 to 120 mobile ramps. US estimates for 2010 are 350 to 400 CSS-6s with 90 to 110 launch pads and 700 to 750 CSS-7s with 120 to 140 launch pads. Around 100 short-range missiles can be manufactured each year, but in 2010 the US noted a slowdown in the deployment of new short-range missiles. According to the US Department of Defense, all CSS-6 and CSS-7 are stationed in the coastal areas opposite Taiwan. A total of seven missile brigades with around 1,100 short-range missiles are to be located there, which are supplemented by some medium-range missiles and cruise missiles, among other things for anti-ship missiles.

Nuclear warheads exist for all types of Chinese ICBMs as well as for the medium-range missiles of the CSS-5 type. EMP warheads for use against electronic systems have also been introduced since 2005 . Own land-based cruise missiles of the types DongHai 10 and YJ-63 (can also be used by ships) have been issued to the troops since 2007. According to US estimates, between 200 and 500 DH-10s were operational in April 2008. Airborne cruise missiles are still in the development stage. In addition, China is likely to develop navigation systems for short- and medium-range missiles that should be able to hit ships.

In addition, one Xia-class submarine and probably two Jin-class submarines in 2009 are each equipped with twelve JL-1 and JL-2 missiles that can be equipped with nuclear equipment. However, these units belong to the Navy and not to the missile force.

The US Department of Defense expects a new ICBM, called the JL-2, to be launched before 2010, which can be launched from submarines and has a range of 12,000 kilometers.

Strategic support forces

The Strategic Support Forces are a new type of service. In their inventory, the forces for securing the environment of the fighting, for maintaining communication and for testing new technologies are combined.

The armed forces, which came into service on January 1, 2016, bundles tasks that are referred to as electronic warfare in Western military doctrine , as well as activities in military space travel .

Security forces

All rearward services of the Chinese armed forces are combined in the security forces. This includes medical services, transportation, piping systems, construction and reserves.



Chinese military spending from 1996 to 2007 according to official figures compared to estimates by the US Department of Defense
Type 052C guided
missile destroyer of the Lanzhou class
Type 99 main battle tank
Combat helicopter WZ-10

According to numerous Western observers, China's military budget can only be estimated because money is covertly flowing into the armed forces from numerous departments - which, however, is also the case with many other armies in the world. On the other hand, in the case of China, the considerable difference in purchasing power must be taken into account (a Chinese cruise missile only costs a fraction of what a cruise missile costs the US armed forces). For 2008, the Chinese government estimates a pure military budget of 60.1 billion US dollars for 2009 of 70.2 billion and for 2010 of 78.6 billion. This value had already increased to 106.4 billion US dollars by 2012. Including covert payments with officially different uses, the United States Department of Defense estimates military spending in 2007 to be between $ 97 and 139 billion, for 2008 between $ 105 and 150 billion, and for 2009 more than 150 billion. However, it should be noted that China's military spending is by no means world-class in comparison to the size of the country and its population (also measured in terms of gross domestic product ). The Chinese government has repeatedly rejected the US estimates, which are significantly higher than their own figures. In 2008, according to Chinese figures, military expenditure was divided almost exactly to one third each between personnel costs, training and maintenance, and equipment.

In 2008, the People's Republic of China spent 5.8 percent of global defense spending, more than France or the United Kingdom, which accounted for 4.5 percent. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), it tripled its defense budget compared to 1999 .

The People's Republic of China increased its defense spending in 2014 by around twelve percent to 808 billion yuan (the equivalent of 95 billion euros).

The National People's Congress is due to decide on March 5, 2017 to increase the Chinese military budget by around seven percent. Last year it increased by 7.6% to 954 billion yuan.

Nuclear weapons (nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons)

China has had nuclear weapons since 1964 and is an official nuclear power . On October 16, 1964, the People's Republic of China announced that it would not be doing the first mission and confirmed it on April 5, 1995 and June 2005. The White Paper on China's Military Strategy (from July 2019) states: “China has always declared that it will will never, under any circumstances, be the first to use nuclear weapons, or threaten non-nuclear states or zones with them. China advocates the complete ban and destruction of nuclear weapons. It will not participate in the nuclear arms race and will keep its nuclear weapons at the minimum level necessary for its security. "

Up until the 1990s, nuclear weapons tests were carried out in Xinjiang, on the border with Tibet . The People's Republic has carried out 44 nuclear weapons tests since 1964. Of the 21 underground experiments, the last was carried out in 1996. The last surface test in China took place in 1980, after Great Britain , the USSR and the USA had already committed themselves in a partial ban in 1963 due to the global increase in radioactive base levels not to carry out any further nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere, underwater or in space. China has not disclosed anything to the public about radiation exposure and the consequences. However, radiation illnesses are said to have occurred in the relevant fall-out areas, whereupon the Uyghurs demonstrated against these tests, but the demonstrations were suppressed by China. China also reserves the right to carry out nuclear weapon explosions for literally "peaceful purposes", for example for use in underground structures. On October 16, 1964, the People's Republic of China renounced the first use and confirmed it on April 5, 1995 and June 2005.

It is estimated that China has 130 active nuclear warheads and another 70 that could be made operational in a relatively short period of time. The majority of these warheads are likely to be deployable from ICBMs or strategic bombers.

Warfare in space

The main goal of Chinese warfare in space is the installation of satellites for earth observation . The satellites of the programs Ziyuan-1 and -2 , launched in 2003 and 2004, presumably allow an image acquisition of the entire surface of the earth. The resolution of the images is unknown. The Tsinghua University jointly developed with the University of Surrey , a small satellite program, which consists of seven earth observation satellites, the images are intended to provide a resolution of 50 meters. The Huanjing program will include eleven satellites for multispectral, infrared and radar monitoring of the earth's surface. The Bei-Dou system, which consists of five satellites, enables positions to be determined throughout China with an accuracy of up to 20 meters.

From April 2006 to February 2009, six satellites of a mixed electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar system were placed in orbit. This family of satellites, known as “Yaogan Weixing”, is used for earth observation. Its SAR component also provides results at night and cloud cover. The electro-optical satellites should deliver images with a resolution of up to 60 centimeters.

Small and miniature satellites for other purposes are a focus of Chinese space research, as is the attempt to develop satellites for eavesdropping on electronic communications. China plans to put a total of 100 satellites into orbit by 2010. In addition, methods for locating and identifying enemy satellites are being developed. China's armament against satellites is limited to nuclear weapons, which would have to be carried into orbit by an ICBM. It is believed that ground-based anti-satellite weapons based on lasers are under development. At the end of the 1990s, China bought a system for jamming radio decimeter waves from Ukraine , with which communication with satellites, including the US GPS system, can be paralyzed. A separate navigation system comparable to GPS is to be set up by 2020.

During a missile test on January 11, 2007, the Chinese weather satellite Fengyun-1C (“Wind and Clouds”), which had exceeded its service life, was destroyed from the ground at a height of around 850 kilometers with a ballistic ASAT (anti-satellite) missile. The projectile was fired from the Xichang space station in southwest China, according to the Chinese government. The United States, Japan, Australia and Canada protested the shooting down on January 19, 2007, and a formal British protest was filed days later.

Current assignments

Participation in UN peace missions

Chinese military bases abroad, including listening stations and major participation in UN peace missions in 2008

In June 2009, around 2,153 Chinese soldiers, police officers and military observers took part in ten UN missions . The largest individual contingent , with 582 Chinese participants, was in Liberia as part of the UNOMIL observation mission . However, standing in the Sudan for the two UN missions UNMIS (Sudan) and UNAMID ( Darfur , West Sudan) a total of about 798 Chinese.

Chinese participation in July 2008
UN mission soldiers Military observer police officers
MINURSO (Western Sahara) - 13 -
MINUSTAH (Haiti) - - 143
MONUC (Dem. Rep. Congo) 218 16 -
UNAMID (Darfur, Sudan) 324 - -
UNIFIL (Lebanon) 343 - -
UNMIL (Liberia) 564 2 16
UNMIS (Sudan) 444 12 18th
UNMIT (East Timor) - 2 27
UNOCI (Ivory Coast) - 7th -
UNTSO (Israel, Palestine) - 4th -

In 2008, the Chinese government reported that the country had contributed more than 11,000 participants to 18 UN peace missions in the previous 20 years. According to US figures, China doubled the number of participants in UN missions between 2004 and 2009. The People's Republic operates three facilities at which participants in peace missions are specifically trained for this task. In 2009, Chinese soldiers in Lebanon took part in mine clearance abroad for the first time.

Participation in multinational military maneuvers and operations

Since around 1990, the number of joint maneuvers with foreign armed forces has increased significantly. In addition, China has invited a significantly larger number of foreign observers to its maneuvers than ever before. The People's Liberation Army wants to learn about the increased exchange of military capabilities between friendly states. US observers counted 33 multinational military maneuvers with Chinese participation from 2002 to 2009.

In March 2004, a Sino-French fleet maneuver resulted in large-scale cooperation with a European state for the first time. At the beginning of 2005, China and Russia practiced together in the “Peace Mission 2005” maneuver on the Chinese peninsula Shandong : Air and naval landing units trained with other branches of the invasion on a coast. Almost 10,000 soldiers took part on both sides. With regard to the Taiwan conflict , the maneuver was politically explosive, but both the Chinese and Russian sides countered that the exercise was directed exclusively against terrorism and extremism. Since then, Sino-Russian large-scale maneuvers have been held every year. In December 2007, a joint anti-terror military maneuver was held for the first time with India . The first maneuvers with the members of the ASEAN confederation are seen as an attempt to bring a regional military alliance into being. In June 2009, China undertook a joint medical exercise with another state for the first time in Gabon under the title “Angel of Peace 2009”. The first joint maneuver with neighboring Mongolia took place in June 2009.

Like other states and confederations, but outside the multinational “Task Force”, China has been taking military action against piracy off the Somali coast since the end of 2008 . This is the first combat operation by the Chinese Navy outside its own coastal waters since the 15th century. Two frigates, a supply ship and 70 special forces are involved. According to Chinese figures, 1265 Chinese cargo ships passed through this sea region from January to November 2008. A fifth of the ships were attacked by pirates and seven were seized.

In addition to maneuvers and operations with other armed forces, the sending of delegations, military attachés , officers in training and participants in military meetings has increased significantly since the beginning of the century, particularly to South America and Africa. The same applies to visits by Chinese military ships to foreign ports.

Disaster Relief Outside China

According to its own statements, the Chinese military has provided aid in ten natural disasters outside of their own country since 2002. However, the US assesses the aid provided by the People's Liberation Army after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake as largely ineffective. The hospital ship "Heping Fangzhou", which was completed in 2008, is intended to be specifically geared to humanitarian operations in addition to its military function.

Flags, insignia, badges

The insignia of the VBA is a red star with the Chinese characters for August 1st ( Chinese  八一 , Pinyin bā yī ), the anniversary of the Nanchang uprising in 1927.

See also


Web links

Commons : People's Liberation Army  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Official representations and general information

Reports and opinions

Individual evidence

  1. a b [1] Globalfirepower, last seen on February 15, 2018
  4. ^ William Wei: Political Power Grows Out of the Barrel of a Gun: Mao and the Red Army. in: David A. Graff, Robert Higham (Eds.): A Military History of China. Lexington, 2012, pp. 229-245
  5. ^ A b c Dennis J. Blasko: Always Faithful - The PLA from 1949 to 1989. in David A. Graff, Robert Higham (ed.): A Military History of China. Lexington, 2012, pp. 249-255
  6. a b Dr. Srikanth Kondapalli: People's Liberation Army. in Xiaobing Li (Ed.): China at War - An Encyclopedia. Oxford, 2012 pp. 343-346
  7. a b c See China's National Defense in the New Age. 2019 White Paper on China's Military Strategy. Translation from English and adaptation by Bernd Biedermann. Original: China`s National Defense in the New Era. In: China's National Defense in the Beginning of the 2020s. Publication series DGKSP discussion papers, Dresden 2020, February, p. 14. Retrieved from urn : nbn: de: bsz: 14-qucosa2-377674 .
  8. Dr. Xiaobing Li: Cultural Revolution. in Xiaobing Li (Ed.): China at War - An Encyclopedia. Oxford, 2012, p. 307, pp. 93-97
  9. ^ A b c Dennis J. Blasko: Always Faithful - The PLA from 1949 to 1989. in David A. Graff, Robert Higham (ed.): A Military History of China. Lexington, 2012, pp. 255-266
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  11. Christoph Henke: The Chinese anti-secession law. (PDF) Retrieved December 18, 2015 .
  12. a b c d e f g h i j See China's National Defense in the New Age. 2019 White Paper on China's Military Strategy. Translation from English and adaptation by Bernd Biedermann. Original: China`s National Defense in the New Era. In: China's National Defense in the Beginning of the 2020s. Series of publications DGKSP discussion papers, Dresden 2020, February, pp. 9–23. Retrieved from urn: nbn: de: bsz: 14-qucosa2-377674
  13. First aircraft carrier strengthens China's navy. In: Spiegel Online . Retrieved September 25, 2012 .
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  15. Felix F. Seidler: Maritime Power Shifts in the Indo-Pacific Area: Geopolitical and Strategic Trends, p. 5. (PDF; 590 kB) (No longer available online.) Institute for Security Policy CAU Kiel, archived from the original on August 22, 2013 ; Retrieved February 1, 2013 .
  16. Robert W. Cox : “Real Socialism” in historical perspective , in: Ralph Miliband and Leo Panitch (eds.): Communist Regimes: The Aftermath , Socialist Register , Merlin Press, London 1991 ( online ( Memento from August 4, 2018 in Internet Archive )).
  17. a b c A Country Study: China Library of Congress Call Number DS706 .C489 1988
  18. Frank O Mora, Quintan Wiktorowicz: Economic Reform and the Military: China, Cuba, and Syria in Comparative Perspective. International Journal of Comparative Sociology Volume: 44 issue: 2, page (s): 87-128, April 2003 doi : 10.1177 / 002071520304400201
  19. Andreas Schlieker: China's People's Liberation Army is celebrating its 80th birthday with a large exhibition in the Beijing Military Museum. It is still a powerful state within a state. All reactionaries are paper tigers , TAZ August 12, 2007.
  20. ^ Peace Research Institute : China is the second largest arms producer in the world . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed January 27, 2020]).
  21. According to SIPRI researchers, China is the second largest arms producer. Retrieved January 27, 2020 .
  22. See preliminary remarks by Bernd Biedermann. In: China's National Defense in the Beginning of the 2020s. Publication series DGKSP discussion papers, Dresden 2020, February, p. 10. Access urn: nbn: de: bsz: 14-qucosa2-377674 .
  23. a b See comment by Wilfried Schreiber: White Paper 2019 on China's Military Strategy and the CPC. In: China's National Defense in the Beginning of the 2020s. Series of publications DGKSP discussion papers, Dresden 2020, February, pp. 4–8. Retrieved from urn: nbn: de: bsz: 14-qucosa2-377674 .
  24. See China's National Defense in the New Age. 2019 White Paper on China's Military Strategy. Translation from English and adaptation by Bernd Biedermann. Original: China`s National Defense in the New Era. In: China's National Defense in the Beginning of the 2020s. Publication series DGKSP discussion papers, Dresden 2020, February, p. 12 ff. Access urn: nbn: de: bsz: 14-qucosa2-377674 .
  26. ^ ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) .
  27. South China Sea: China settles down on the Spratly Islands . In: Spiegel Online . May 9, 2015 ( [accessed January 6, 2019]).
  28. Their first stop was a visit to the Nanjing Military Region headquarters for a brief about NCO development in the People's Liberation Army. There the group learned from PLA leaders the PLA NCO system started in 1978. […] The PLA NCO system is similar to the US NCO corps in that it has more members at the lower ranks and fewer at the higher enlisted ranks. However, the PLA NCO grades only go to level six for soldiers who serve between seven and 30 years. The PLA NCOs are also broken into two categories, technical and non-technical. Non technical NCOs, primarily small-unit infantry leaders, can only attend up to NCO level four. Technical jobs relating to maintenance and operation machinery or vehicles can go all the way to level six. Another big difference the delegation noted was PLA NCOs serve their entire military career with the same unit and to become NCOs they have to volunteer for further service after their two-year conscript is complete . Demetrio J. Espinosa: US Pacific Command sends first enlisted delegation to China , Marine Corps Base Hawaii press release June 21, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  29. DF-41 (CSS-X-10) ( Memento from August 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  30. China says defense spending will increase
  31. ^ Stockholm International Peace Research Institute : Recent trends in military expenditure ( Memento of September 2, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), in: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute : Military Spending and Armament . Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  32. Spiegel Online - Dominance in Southeast Asia: China announces drastic rearmament : [2]
  33. Armaments: China wants to increase military budget by seven percent , Spiegel Online , March 4, 2017.
  34. ( Memento from May 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive )