Chinese amphibious tanks and marines storm a beachhead in an assault drill during a Sino-Russian joint military exercise in Shandong province. Photo: XinhuaSource:Supplied
The Diplomat: China Is Building a 100,000 Strong Marine Corps
The People’s Liberation Army allegedly plans to increase the size of its amphibious assault troops by 400 percent.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is set to increase the size of its Marine Corps from about 20,000 to 100,000, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on March 13. According to unnamed PLA insiders and experts interviewed by SCMP, elements of the expanded Marine Corps would be stationed abroad, including Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and Gwadar in southwest Pakistan.
The PLA Marine Corps (PLAMC), part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), has gradually been expanding its size over the last couple of years as its mission is slowly expanding from conducting operations in China’s coastal areas — including defending Chinese holdings in the East and South China Seas, next to preparing for a possible amphibious assault on Taiwan — to more global roles.
“The PLA marines will be increased to 100,000, consisting of six brigades in the coming future to fulfill new missions of our country,” a source told SCMP. The source also noted that two combat brigades were already transferred to the PLAMC, increasing the size from roughly 12,000 (two understrength brigades) to around 20,000.
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More News On China Building A 100,000 Marine Corps
As overseas ambitions expand, China plans 400 per cent increase to marine corps numbers, sources say -- South China Morning Pos
What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chinese Marines -- Washington Free Beacon
China to boost marine corps by 400pc to enforce growing world influence -- News.com.au
China plans to increase number of Marine Corps from 20000 to 100000 to boost global presence -- International Business Times
China Plans Massive Increase to Marine Corps to Pursue Global Ambitions -- Washington Free Beacon
Marines: Chinese Marines Expand -- Strategy Page