The People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA; Chinese: 中国人民解放军) is the armed forces of People’s Republic of China and Communist Party (CPC). Our patreon acc: https://www.patreon.com/southfront
1 August is celebrated annually as Chinese Workers and Farmers Red Army Day. The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Rocket Force and the Strategic Support Force. The PLA is the world’s largest military force, with a strength of approximately 2,285,000 personnel, 0.18% of the country’s population. 3 September 2015, paramount leader Xi Jinping announced that he would reduce the country’s military personnel by 300,000. The PLA’s insignia consists of a roundel with a red star bearing the Chinese characters for Eight One, referring to 1 August (Chinese: 八一).
The PLA is under the command of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the CPC. Following the principle of civilian control of the military, the commander in chief is the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (usually the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China). The Ministry of National Defense, which operates under the State Council, does not exercise any authority over the PLA and is far less powerful than the CMC. A system of political officers embedded within the military assures party authority over the armed forces, so that the primary role of the Ministry of Defense is that of a liaison office with foreign militaries. The political and military leadership have made a concerted effort to create a professional military force restricted to national defence and to the provision of assistance in domestic economic construction and emergency relief. This conception of the role of the PLA requires the promotion of specialised officers who can understand modern weaponry and handle combined arms operations. Troops around the country are stationed in seven military regions and more than 20 military districts.
Military service is compulsory by law; however, compulsory military service in China has never been enforced due to large numbers of volunteers from China’s population. In times of national emergency, the People’s Armed Police and the People’s Liberation Army Militia act as a reserve and support element for the PLA, primarily for the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force.
Former CMC chairman Hu Jintao has defined the missions of the PLA as:
Consolidate the ruling status of the Communist Party
Help ensure China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and domestic security to continue national development
Safeguard China’s national interests
Help maintain World Peace
Main article: History of the People’s Liberation Army
Further information: Military history of China before 1911
Formation and Second Sino-Japanese War
Further information: Chinese Civil War and Second Sino-Japanese War
The People’s Liberation Army was founded on 1 August 1927 during the Nanchang uprising when troops of the Kuomintang (KMT) rebelled under the leadership of Zhu De, He Long, Ye Jianying and Zhou Enlai shortly after the end of the first Kuomintang–Communist alliance. They were then known as the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (simplified Chinese: 中国工农红军; traditional Chinese: 中國工農紅軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Gōngnóng hóngjūn), or simply the Red Army. Between 1934 and 1935, the Red Army survived several campaigns led against it by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and engaged in the Long March.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945, the Communist military forces were nominally integrated into the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China forming the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army units. During this time, these two military groups primarily used guerrilla warfare, fought a few battles with the Japanese while consolidating their ground by annexing nationalist troops and paramilitary forces behind the Japanese lines. After the end of the Sino-Japanese War, the Communist Party merged the two military groups and renamed the multi-million-strong force the “People’s Liberation Army” and eventually won the Chinese Civil War. A number of military regions were established in 1949. On 11 November 1949, the Air Force leadership structure was established and the Navy leadership the following April. In 1950, the leadership structures of the artillery, armoured troops, air defence troops, public security forces, and worker–soldier militias were also established. The chemical warfare defence forces, the railroad forces, the communications forces, and the second artillery, as well as other forces, were established later.
1950s, 60s and 70s