Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China

Military Services

The Chinese military services are composed of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force, Armed Police Force and Reserve Force.


The PLAA plays an irreplaceable role in maintaining China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests. It comprises maneuver operation, border and coastal defense, and garrison forces. Under the PLAA, there are 5 TC army commands, the Xinjiang military command, and the Tibet military command. The ETC Army has under it the 71st, 72nd, and 73rd group armies; the STC Army has the 74th and 75th group armies; the WTC Army has the 76th and 77th group armies; the NTC Army has the 78th, 79th and 80th group armies; and the CTC Army has the 81st, 82nd and 83rd group armies.


The PLAN has a very important standing in the overall configuration of China’s national security and development. It comprises submarine, surface ship, aviation, marine, and coastal defense forces. Under the PLAN, there are the ETC Navy (Donghai Fleet), the STC Navy (Nanhai Fleet), the NTC Navy (Beihai Fleet), and the PLAN Marine Corps. Under the TC navies there are naval bases, submarine flotillas, surface ship flotillas and aviation brigades.

Air Force

The PLAAF plays a crucial role in overall national security and military strategy. It comprises aviation, airborne, ground-to-air missile, radar, ECM, and communications forces. Under the PLAAF, there are 5 TC air force commands and one airborne corps. Under the TC air forces, there are air bases, aviation brigades (divisions), ground-to-air missile brigades (divisions) and radar brigades.

Rocket Force

The PLARF plays a critical role in maintaining China’s national sovereignty and security. It comprises nuclear missile, conventional missile and support forces, and subordinate missile bases. In line with the strategic requirements of having both nuclear and conventional capabilities and deterring wars in all battlespaces, the PLARF is enhancing its credible and reliable capabilities of nuclear deterrence and counterattack, strengthening intermediate and long-range precision strike forces, and enhancing strategic counter-balance capability, so as to build a strong and modernized rocket force.

People’s Armed Police Force

The PAP shoulders important responsibilities in safeguarding national security, social stability and public wellbeing. China has adopted a CMC-PAP-Troops leadership and command system with the basic duties and nature of the PAP unchanged. The PAP is not in the force structure of the PLA. The PAP border defense, firefighting and security guard forces have been decommissioned. The coast guard under the leadership of State Oceanic Administration has been transferred to the PAP. PAP goldmine, forest and hydroelectricity forces have been reorganized into specialized forces of non-active service under corresponding state authorities. Meanwhile, the PAP customs guard forces have been withdrawn. In this way, the leadership, management, command and employment of the PAP has become more coherent. Following adjustment and reorganization, the PAP is mainly composed of the internal security corps, the mobile corps, and the coast guard.

Reserve Force

The Reserve Force is an armed organization composed of the people not released from their regular work. As an assistant and backup force of the PLA, the Reserve Force is tasked with participating in the socialist modernization drive, performing combat readiness support and defensive operations, helping maintain social order and participating in emergency rescue and disaster relief operations.