People's Liberation Army

armed forces of the People's Republic of China

The People's Liberation Army (or simply PLA) is the armed forces of the Communist Party of China. The army was established (founded) on August 1, 1927. The People's Liberation Army is the largest military force in the world. It has about 2,250,000 personnel or employees (about 0.18% of the population of China) under the Central Military Commission.

People's Liberation Army
China Emblem PLA.svg
Emblem of the People's Liberation Army
Established August 1, 1927
Parts Ground Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg PLA Ground Force

Naval Ensign of the People's Republic of China.svg PLA Navy

Air Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg PLA Air Force

Second Artillery Corps
Leaders of Central Military Commission Xi Jinping (Chairman)
Fan Changlong (Vice-chairman)
Xu Qiliang (Vice-chairman)
Minister of National Defense General Chang Wanquan
Chief of PLA General Staff General Fang Fenghui
Serving soldiers
Military age 18–49
Conscription None enforced
Available to
be a soldier
385,821,101 males, age 16–49 (2010 est),
363,789,674 females, age 16–49 (2010 est)
Fit to be
a soldier
318,265,016 males, age 16–49 (2010 est),
300,323,611 females, age 16–49 (2010 est)
Reaching military
age annually
10,406,544 males (2010 est),
9,131,990 females (2010 est)
Active employees/soldiers approximately 2,285,000(about 0.18% of population) [1][2] (ranked 1st)
Reserve personnel 800,000[1][2][3]
Deployed personnel Overseas: ~300 anti-pirate personnel in Somalia [1]
Paramilitary: approximately 1,500,000[1][2][4]
Total: 4,585,000~ [1][2] (ranked 6th)
Budget US$119 billion (2013)[5] (ranked 2nd)
Percent of GDP 1.46% (2012 est.)
Suppliers from
foreign countries
 Russia [6]
Annual imports  Israel
 United States
Annual exports  Indonesia
 United Kingdom
See also
History History of the PLA
Modernization of the PLA
Ranks Army
Air Force

The PLA consists of five main branches: the PLA Ground Force, PLA Navy (PLAN), PLA Air Force (PLAAF), Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force), and the PLA Reserve Force. Military service is compulsory (required) of for all men and women who reach the age of 18.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 IISS 2010, pp. 398–404
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Military Strength of China". Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  3. "Chinese Military Overview". Retrieved Aug 17, 2012.
  4. Chinese People's Armed Police Force (CAPF)
  5. "China Boosts Defense Spending as Military Modernizes Arsenal". Bloomberg. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  6. "China / Aircraft / Jianjiji / Fighter".