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White Paper: China reduces 200,000 troops between 2003-2005

Source: Xinhuanet | 12-29-2006 13:52

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China said here Friday that it has reduced 200,000 troops between 2003 and 2005.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) currently has 2.3 million troops, says a White Paper on China's National Defense in 2006 issued by the Information Office of the State Council.

In 1985, 1997 and 2003, China announced that it would downsize the PLA by one million, 500,000 and 200,000 troops, respectively.

"The PLA has made new progress towards the goal of being proper in size, optimal in structure, streamlined in organization, swift and flexible in command, and powerful in fighting capacity," the White Paper says.

It says that the Army was the focus of the force reduction, and its authorized number of personnel has been reduced by more than 130,000.

Over 60,000 military personnel have been removed from the headquarters and directly affiliated units of military area commands and provincial military commands, according to the White Paper.

Through restructuring, the proportion of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force in the PLA has been raised by 3.8 percent while that of the Army has been lowered by 1.5 percent, it says.

The PLA has also streamlined the headquarters and directly affiliated units as well as educational institutions.

More than 3,000 departments of and over 400 units directly affiliated to the headquarters at and above the regimental level have been cut.

A considerable number of agricultural and sideline production units, cultural and sports units, military representative offices at railway stations and material supply organs have been closed. Fifteen PLA educational institutions and 31 training organizations were shut down.

The White Paper says the ratio between officers and men has been improved with 170,000 officers reduced.

It says more than 150 officer posts at or above the corps level have been eliminated. Nearly 70,000 posts formerly taken by officers are now filled with non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and over 20,000 posts formerly taken by NCOs are now filled with contract civilians.


Editor:Du Xiaodan