People's Liberation Army

combined military 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
FoundedAugust 1, 1927
Service branchesGround Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg PLA Ground Force

Naval Ensign 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 CommissionXi Jinping (Chairman)
Zhang Youxia (Vice-chairman)
He Weidong (Vice-chairman)
Xu Qiliang (Vice-chairman)
Minister of National DefenseGeneral Li Shangfu
Chief of PLA General StaffGeneral Liu Zhenli
Military age18–49
ConscriptionNone enforced
Available for
military service
385,821,101 males, age 16–49 (2010 est),
363,789,674 females, age 16–49 (2010 est)
Fit for
military service
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 personnelapproximately 2,285,000(about 0.18% of population) [1][2] (ranked 1st)
Reserve personnel800,000[1][2][3]
Deployed personnelOverseas: ~300 anti-pirate personnel in Somalia [1]
Paramilitary: approximately 1,500,000[1][2][4]
Total: 4,585,000~ [1][2] (ranked 6th)
BudgetUS$119 billion (2013)[5] (ranked 2nd)
Percent of GDP1.46% (2012 est.)
Foreign suppliers Russia [6]
Annual imports Israel
 United States
Annual exports Indonesia
 United Kingdom
Related articles
HistoryHistory of the PLA
Modernization of the PLA
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".