World’s Biggest Armed Force – People’s Liberation Army

People's Liberation Army

People’s Liberation Army

For years now, almost all the countries in the world have an army of its own, which is committed to protecting the national interests of the country against enemies. Although, armies across the world have numerous of differences and variations, ranging from their structure, composition, technology, training and the abilities of their members, there is always something in common which allows us to figure the armies overall strength. A common measuring tool for figuring this is the size, which consists of the number of personnel serving in the organization.

A Wise Chinese man once said, “In order to attack the strong, you must nurture them to make them even stronger.”

People commonly believe that every country should have the power to provide employment, especially if it has a population in excess of 1 billion. Well, that’s just a saying, but it is even applicable to countries that have a lesser population. So, this obviously shouldn’t come as a surprise that the world’s most populous countries are home to some of the biggest employers on the earth.

Chinese military is an integrated military organization of all – land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Liberation Army was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as ‘People’s Liberation Army Day’. The People’s Liberation Army is the military arm of the Communist Party of China. Its emblem consists of a roundel with a red star bearing the Chinese characters for ‘Eight One’, which refers to August 1, the date of the 1927 Nanchang Uprising.

The World’s Biggest Armed Force was founded on 1 August 1927 during the Nanchang Uprising when troops of the Kuomintang 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 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.

The Chinese Army is the largest armed forces in the world, with approximately 3 million members, and has the world’s largest active (standing) army, with approximately 2.25 million members. The World’s Biggest Armed Force encompasses five main service branches: Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Second Artillery, and the People’s Armed Police. Following the 200,000 troop reduction from 2003 to 2005, the total end-strength of the People’s Liberation Army has been reduced from 2.5 million to 2.3 million. There are 660,000 personnel serving in the People’s Armed Police (PAP), and 1.2-1.5 million in the reserve forces and militia. The People’s Armed Police is a Chinese paramilitary force under the dual leadership of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Public Security. People sometimes confuse considering PAP as a branch of the People’s Liberation Army.

There are a number of organizations within militaries – you have active forces, reserve forces, civilians, and also those that might be working as contractors – so it depends really what you’re trying to count when you look at headline numbers. James Hackett, the editor of Military Balance said, “What we try and do is look at active service personnel, so those in uniform who are capable of operating on behalf of the state to fulfill the national security concerns of the militaries”. May be this is one important reason that the People’s Liberation Army is large compared to other militaries stems from its composition as a mainly conscript-based force. Now other militaries in the West and across the world have moved to volunteer corps.

In the 1980s, the Chinese military was shrunk considerably to liberate resources for economic development, resulting in the comparative decline in resources devoted to the People’s Liberation Army. Reform and modernization have today resumed their position as the People’s Liberation Army’s priority objectives, although the armed forces’ political loyalty to the CPC has remained a leading concern. Another area of concern to the political leadership was the People’s Liberation Army’s involvement in civilian economic activities. These activities were thought to have impacted People’s Liberation Army readiness and have led the political leadership to attempt to divest the People’s Liberation Army from its non-military business interests.

The World’s Biggest Armed Force is studying the unconventional tactics that could be used to exploit the vulnerabilities of a more technologically advanced enemy. This has been reflected in the two parallel guidelines for the People’s Liberation Army ground forces development. While speeding up the process of introducing new technology into the force and retiring the older equipment, the People’s Liberation Army has also placed an emphasis on asymmetric warfare, including finding methods of using existing equipment to defeat a technologically superior enemy.

Dhwani Shah

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