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Military Modernization Shifts Focus From Ground Forces

Source: South China Morning Post

January 22 2019


Ground forces now make up less than half of the Chinese military, reports the South China Morning Post

The remaining four forces -- the navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force -- make up the majority of the People's Liberation Army, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The reforms have also reduced the number of officers by 30 percent and eliminated nearly half of the military's non-combatant units. 

The reductions in ground units represents a move away from territorial defense and towards greater force projection capabilities, said analysts. 

The changes may also alter the political dynamics of the military, which is influential politically and has traditionally been dominated by the army. 

President Xi Jinping announced major reforms in 2015, which aimed to cut end-strength by 300,000 troops and enhance force projection capabilities. 

The changes led to the creation of the independent rocket force and the strategic support force, which handles cyber, electronic and space warfare. 

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