China will downsize its 2.3 million-strong military, the world's largest, to under one million in the biggest troop reduction in its history as part of a restructuring process, an official Chinese daily said.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) will increase the
Jun Zhengping Studio, a Chinese social
"The reform is based on China's strategic goals and security requirements. In the past, the PLA focused on ground battle and homeland defence, which will undergo fundamental changes. This is the first time that active PLA army personnel would be reduced to below one million," reports said.
It added that the number of troops in the PLA Navy, 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.
According to the Ministry of Defence data, the PLA Army had about 8.50
"This reform will provide other services, including the PLA Rocket Force, Air Force, Navy and Strategic Support Force (mainly responsible for electronic warfare and communication), with more resources and inputs, and the PLA will strengthen its capability to conduct overseas missions," Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, was quoted
The PLA Daily article said that China's overseas interests were spread around the world and needed to be protected.
"These are beyond the army's current capabilities," Xu said.
The PLA structure should also fit China's international status, Xu said.