BEIJING: Chinese president Xi Jinping announced to cut 300,000 troops on Thursday.
Jinping’s pledge to cut China’s 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army (PLA) comes amid rising manpower costs and technological capabilities that reduce the need for large numbers of personnel.
Despite the cut, Chinese military would remain the world’s largest standing military. Once known for its human wave tactics in conflicts such as the Korean War, the PLA is increasingly focused on high-tech weaponry and projecting power abroad through its navy and air force.
For instance, the latest version of the PLA’s mainstay bomber, the H-6K, requires just a three-person crew ─ half its former complement.
Despite its huge numbers, the PLA hasn’t fought in a major conflict since a brief 1979 border war with Vietnam, although China has long been a major contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions and since 2008 has joined in multi-nation anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.