National flag of the People's Republic of China

The Chinese military is still the central power factor in China today. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. The highest body is the CCP Central Military Commission. Its chairman is widely regarded as the most powerful person in the PRC and is usually also the general secretary of the CCP. The VBA’s doctrine is set out in irregularly published white papers, the last of which was published in 2019.

In addition to the material and technical armament of the army, Xi Jinping implemented far-reaching organizational reforms in 2015, which should be completed in 2020. On the one hand, the traditionally strong army was put on an equal footing with the other two armed forces, the navy and the air force. On the one hand, this means a reduction in army strength of 300,000 men. On the other hand, a united general staff was set up as a department of the central military commission of the CCP, to which all branches of the armed forces are equally subordinate. With these measures one tries the allied warfare after the example of the US American “Joint Chiefs of Staff” to strengthen. The “Strategic Support Forces”, which specialize in cyber warfare, have also been established as a new branch of the armed forces. Finally, the political leadership of the Military Commission was strengthened and expanded to the central departments of the leadership levels of the People’s Liberation Army, so that Xi Jinping has more direct access to the military than his predecessors.

The VBA has 2 million troops. 975,000 soldiers serve in the VBA army, 240,000 in the navy and 395,000 in the air force. In addition, there are 100,000 soldiers in the missile forces. Electronic warfare is being developed into a separate armed force in the course of the current military reforms.

According to estatelearning, the armament of the PRC has been increasingly modernized in recent years. Originally geared towards national defense by the army, the navy and air force are now equally equipped armed forces. In addition to new weapon systems, such as the first Chinese aircraft carrier, great importance is attached to improving the quality of cross-armed forces communication.

Even if the Chinese defense budget has seen double-digit growth in some cases in recent years, it cannot be compared with that of the USA. Even if, instead of the US $ 140.7 billion officially estimated for 2016, the US $ 180 billion estimated by foreign experts is used, this sum is significantly less than the US $ 700 billion of the US defense budget.

While the VBA was heavily involved in social and economic processes during the Mao era, today it concentrates on the task of national defense. Regular troops are also no longer to be deployed inside, as was the case with the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. The task of counter-insurgency within the country is now to be performed by the People’s Armed Police. This is subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security and comprises around 660,000 people.

China has not waged a war against a foreign power since 1979, but it is involved in various UN missions with around 2,800 soldiers . In September 2018, 3,000 Chinese soldiers took part in the “Vostok 2018” major exercise. The PR China is also increasingly appearing as a security force on the African continent.


In the course of its existence the People’s Republic of China has been involved in various wars. The Korean War (1951-53) was the most significant in global politics and at the same time the most costly. Smaller armed conflicts were waged against the Republic of China on Taiwan (1958), against India (1962) and against the Soviet Union (1969). The last war in which the People’s Republic of China was actively involved was the disastrous war of aggression against Vietnam in 1979.

At the beginning of 2020 there was an armed conflict on the Sino-Indian border.

National symbols

The basic color of the flag of the People’s Republic of China is the communist red, which is also the color of the Han Chinese. In addition, red is a lucky color in China. In the upper left corner is a large five-pointed yellow star, which is framed in an arc by four smaller stars.

The big star symbolizes the leadership of the communist party, the smaller stars stand for the four classes: the workers, the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and the patriotic capitalists (other interpretations speak of the workers, the peasants, the intellectuals and the national bourgeoisie).

The number five also has a traditional meaning, one speaks of five rulers, five colors, five elements, five virtues, five types and historically of five parts of China: China proper, Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet.

The coat of arms of the People’s Republic of China shows the Gate of Heavenly Peace in its center, which is illuminated by five stars.

The Gate of Heavenly Peace is the southern entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing. From its balustrade Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China on October 1st, 1949.

The circular coat of arms is framed by a wreath of ears of corn with a cog at the bottom: the ears symbolize agriculture and the cog stands for industry.

The Chinese national anthem has been the ” March of the Volunteers ” since 1949.

National flag of the People's Republic of China