China To Downsize PLA Army, Boost Navy Numbers

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Beijing: China will for the first time downsize its Army to under one million and evenly proportion the army and other services, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said.

According to a report , Jun Zhengping Studio, a WeChat account run by the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, published an article on structural reform in the military on Tuesday, saying that “the old military structure, where the Army accounts for the vast majority, will be replaced after the reform.”

“This is the first time that the active PLA Army personnel would be reduced to below one million,” said the article. It added that the number of troops in the PLA Navy, the PLA Strategic Support Force and the PLA Rocket Force will be increased, while the PLA Air Force’s active service personnel will remain the same.

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The Ministry of Defence data in 2013 stated the number of PLA combat troops at 8,50,000. No official numbers of the total population of the PLA Army were released.
The total PLA personnel was about 2.3 million before the country announced a cut of 300,000 troops in 2015.

“The reform is based on China’s strategic goals and security requirements. In the past, the PLA focused on ground battle and homeland defense, which will undergo fundamental changes,” said the WeChat article.