As part of China’s military reforms, the size of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been reduced to approximately 2 million troops.
Speaking in Beijing at the start of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) on 5 March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that China had “basically” completed the goal of cutting back the size of its armed forces by 300,000 personnel: a task that had been announced in 2015 by President Xi Jinping to modernise and streamline the service.
“Over the past five years, under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the Central Military Commission, China has embarked on a new stage in strengthening and energising the armed forces”, Li was quoted by Chinese state media as saying, adding that military equipment had been “significantly modernised” and that China had deepened military-civilian integration.
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