What is the Chinese Army? 2018
The Chinese Army, also known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is the military arm of the Communist Party of China and the biggest of the seven military branches in the People’s Republic of China. It was founded in 1927 and consists of five branches, the Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Rocket Force and the Strategic Support Force.
The PLA is powerful and has an estimated 2.3-2.5 million active personnel as of 2018, making it the largest standing military in the world. Its main mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China and the people of China, and to maintain regional stability and military security.
The Chinese Army is led by President Xi Jinping, who serves as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC). The CMC is responsible for appointing the military commander-in-chief and operational command to oversee military strategy and operations. It is believed that the military is extremely loyal to the party and to President Xi Jinping.
The People’s Liberation Army has a highly advanced and diverse arsenal of weapons, tanks, ships and aircraft. In 2018, it was estimated that the Chinese military had a total of 1,710 combat aircraft, including fighter jets, bombers, fighter-attack aircraft and transport aircraft. In addition, the PLA is believed to have 4,788 tanks, 3,564 armoured fighting vehicles, 6,200 launchers and multiple rocket systems, and 736 attack helicopters.
The Chinese Army has also made significant investments in modernizing its forces in the past few years. This includes investments in communication, intelligence, electronic warfare, radar and satellite systems. Further, it has developed an array of advanced weapons, such as the J-20 stealth fighter jet and the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, which China’s military scientists and engineers regard as the most advanced weapons in their respective fields.
In addition to its large military, the PLA maintains close links with the Chinese intelligence-gathering and cyber security apparatus. The Chinese military has made extensive use of information technology, such as big data and artificial intelligence, to improve its operations. It also has access to advanced technologies such as advanced drones, space satellites, robotics and hypersonic vehicles.
Chinese Army Spending 2018
The Chinese Army has significantly increased its defense budget over the years in order to invest in its military capabilities. In 2018, it was estimated that the Chinese military budget was $214 billion, making it the second largest military budget in the world. This has resulted in the People’s Liberation Army becoming one of the most advanced militaries in the world and puts it in a strong position to counter any potential adversaries.
However, China’s actual military spending may be even greater than what is reported. For example, China does not break down its spending into personnel costs and other categories, which could increase the estimated budget by up to 20 percent. China also does not include much of its military research and development costs, or investment in military-related technology, in its published budget.
In addition to its spending on the PLA, China has also invested heavily in its civilian technology sector. The country has allocated large amounts of money for its ‘Made in China 2025’ plan, an ambitious industrial strategy to make the country a global leader in advanced areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and aerospace technology.
Overall, China’s military spending as a percentage of GDP remains fairly low compared to other countries. This is partly because China’s overall GDP has grown at a much faster rate than its defense budget. In 2017, China’s defense spending accounted for around 1.3 percent of its GDP, while the United States’ spending on defense accounted for 3.3 percent.
Military Recruitment 2018
Chinese military recruitment remains largely voluntary, with no conscription for men or women. In 2018, the PLA estimated that there were 6.2 million recruits in total. Of these, 3.3 million were from the Ground Force, 969,000 from the Navy and 967,000 from the Air Force. The Rocket Force accounted for 839,000 and the Strategic Support Force 612,000 recruits.
The People’s Liberation Army is also known to have fielded some of the most advanced military hardware in the world, including aircraft carriers, advanced missiles, and a wide range of technology. However, it is not clear how much of these capabilities are in active service or how effective they are in actual combat.
The Chinese military emphasis is on quantity rather than quality, however recent years have seen a shift towards quality as the PLA attempts to modernize and become a world-class fighting force. This includes an increased focus on training, training simulators, and developing a new generation of officers who are better prepared for the challenges of modern warfare.
In addition, the PLA has been investing in new weapons systems, aircraft and ships. In 2018, China unveiled its first domestically-produced aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which is expected to join other advanced ships and submarines already in service. The Liaoning is the first of its kind and could expand China’s navy to the frontlines of the Pacific Ocean.
Chinese Military Strategy 2018
The Chinese military strategy is based on the concept of ‘active defense’, which puts an emphasis on being able to respond quickly and efficiently to potential threats. This strategy seeks to ensure that the People’s Liberation Army can act either defensively or offensively, depending on the situation. The PLA also believes in a mobile defense and rapid deployment of forces, both of which are very effective in today’s battlefields.
In addition to its active defense strategy, the PLA has developed a number of tactics and strategies that allow it to quickly attack and defend against potential enemies. This includes developing cyber warfare capabilities and growing networks of surface ships, submarines, and fighter jets that can be used to quickly attack from different angles. The PLA also has access to long-range missiles, which can be used to target US and allied forces.
Furthermore, the People’s Liberation Army has increased its focus on counter-insurgency operations in recent years, particularly in areas close to China. This includes increasing training, building relationships with local populations, and providing assistance to local forces. The Chinese military is also actively developing its ability to operate on a global scale, through operations in the South China Sea, Middle East, and Africa.
Overall, the Chinese Army continues to develop and modernize at a rapid pace and is now considered one of the most advanced military forces in the world. President Xi Jinping has promised continued investment in the PLA, and it is likely that the Chinese military budget and capabilities will continue to grow in the coming years.
Domestic Stability 2018
The Chinese military is not just focused on external threats, but also on maintaining domestic stability. The PLA plays a key role in suppressing any potential civil unrest, and most notably in violently putting an end to the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The PLA is also involved in various social programs, surveillance and internal security operations, and is a key instrument in enforcing the rule of the Communist Party of China.
The Chinese military also plays an important role in the country’s economy. For example, the PLA and its affiliates accounted for around 4 percent of China’s GDP in 2017, and around 30 percent of its exports. The military is involved in a variety of businesses in the tech and manufacturing sectors, and also has a strong presence in the financial sector. The PLA’s economic activities are tightly regulated by the government to ensure that they are solely for the benefit of the military and not for private profiteering.
The Chinese military’s role in the economy is likely to continue to grow in the coming years, as the government continues to invest in its military capabilities. This will likely result in an even larger presence in the various markets and sectors that the PLA is involved in.
International Involvement 2018
The Chinese military has also become increasingly involved in international affairs in recent years. It has taken part in UN peacekeeping operations, sent forces to Iraq for anti-terrorism operations, and provided humanitarian assistance in a number of countries. It has also become more involved in regional affairs, such as regional disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
In 2018, China also took part in joint military drills with other countries, such as Russia and Pakistan. This has reaffirmed its commitment to working with its regional partners to increase its military capabilities and gain more influence in the region.
Overall, the People’s Liberation Army is a formidable military force and its size and capabilities are likely to continue to grow in the coming years. Its presence in international affairs is likely to expand further and the Chinese military could become a global superpower in the not too distant future.
Global Influence 2018
The Chinese military is increasingly becoming a major influence in international affairs, and its presence as a global power is becoming increasingly apparent. It is estimated that China now has more than 200 embassies and diplomatic missions scattered around the world. This has allowed it to develop strong ties with a wide range of countries, and to expand its influence in a variety of international forums and organizations.
The Chinese military is also actively engaging in international diplomacy, and has become an important player in the international community. In 2018, China hosted a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security and economic alliance between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The meeting was held to discuss security, economic and energy issues, and is seen as a way for China to increase its influence in Central Asia and the wider region.
Furthermore, the People’s Liberation Army has conducted a number of joint military exercises with other countries, such as Pakistan, India, and Russia. The exercises serve to enhance both the capacity and readiness of the PLA, as well as demonstrate its commitment to building strong relationships with its international partners.
The Chinese military is increasingly looking to expand its presence in the world, and is likely to continue to wield its influence in international affairs in the years to come.