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Armed Forces: In 1987 combined strength of combat support
units of People's Liberation Army (PLA) just under 3 million.
Ground forces estimated at 2.1 million, world's largest standing
army. Air Force estimated at 390,000. Navy estimated at 350,000,
including those assigned to Naval Air Force, Coastal Defense
Forces, and Marine Corps. Strategic Missile Force estimated at
Combat Units and Major Equipment:In 1987 ground forces
consisted of 35 main-force armies comprising 118 infantry
divisions, 13 armored divisions, and 33 artillery and antiaircraft
divisions; 73 regional-force divisions, about 70 main- and
regional-force independent combat and combat support regiments.
Major weapons systems included Type 59, Type 69, and Type 34 main
battle tanks, Type 62 and Type 63 light battle tanks; various
caliber howitzers and guns and antiaircraft artillery. Air Force
equipment included nearly 5,200 combat aircraft. Navy equipment
included 5 nuclear-powered submarines (3 attack and 2 ballistic
missile launching), 110 diesel attack submarines, 46 major surface
combatants (destroyers and frigates), 877 fast-attack craft (armed
with guns, missiles, or torpedoes), nearly 900 other combatant and
support ships and boats, and 780 Naval Air Force combat aircraft.
Strategic Missile Force included 50 medium-range ballistic missiles
(range of 650 nautical miles), 60 intermediate-range ballistic
missiles (range of 1,620 nautical miles), 4 limited-range
intercontinental ballistic missiles (range of 3,780 nautical
miles), and 2 full-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (range
of 8,100 nautical miles).
Military Budget:Officially announced for 1987 at -Y20.4
billion (for value of the
yuan--see Glossary). Western analysts
believe defense spending roughly double announced budget, or about
4 percent of GNP.
Police Agencies and Paramilitary Forces: Police organized
under Ministry of Public Security. People's Armed Police Force,
primarily demobilized PLA troops estimated at 600,000. Supported by
grass-roots party, government, and neighborhood organizations.
Armed militia estimated at 4.3 million, ordinary, unarmed militia
estimated at 6 million.
Data as of July 1987