China Plans Massive Increase to Marine Corps to Pursue Global Ambitions

Delegates from Chinese People’s Liberation Army / AP

 

China is preparing a five-fold surge to the size of its Marine Corps as Beijing moves to further exert its influence abroad.

The plan would increase the number of Marine Corps personnel from about 20,000 to 100,000 people, the South China Morning Post reported Monday, citing military insiders and experts. The move will be accompanied by cuts to the Chinese military’s land forces in an attempt to modernize the People’s Liberation Army. Continue reading

China launches charm offensive for first overseas naval base

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing’s contribution to regional security and development.

China has repeatedly said it does not seek a U.S.-style “hegemony” by extending its military reach, including through bases abroad.

Now that it appears it may be doing precisely that, the government has been quietly briefing on its rationale for the Djibouti base and using state media to address fears of China’s aims. Continue reading

RAND report: Chinese military could challenge U.S.

Today China can mount a tough defense on its periphery although the U.S. has the advantage, while tomorrow, as America disarms and sleeps, the U.S. could mount a tough defense on its periphery although China has the advantage. That’s where this is going.

 

A new report by global policy think tank RAND Corporation says the U.S. Armed Forces would face a considerable challenge in a hypothetical conflict with China’s army.

“Over the past two decades, China’s People’s Liberation Army has transformed itself from a large but antiquated force into a capable, modern military,” the report reads. “Its technology and operation proficiency still lag behind those of the United States, but it has rapidly narrowed the gap.”

The 430-page report, written by 14 academic scholars, explores 10 areas of operation and lists a “scorecard” for each. Two scenarios were analyzed for each operation area, including an invasion of Taiwan and a Spratly Islands campaign. Continue reading

State-backed China Shipbuilding to raise $1.4 billion for naval buildup

(Reuters) – State-backed China Shipbuilding Industry (601989.SS) plans to raise up to $1.4 billion through a private share sale to buy assets used for building warships, the first time Beijing is tapping the capital market to fund its military expansion.

The move comes as China creates its own military-industrial complex, with the private sector seen taking a key role, as the country gains a new sense of military assertiveness and deals with a growing budget to develop modern equipment including aircraft carriers and drones. Continue reading