The Largest Army in the World Turns 60

by Daniel Russ on October 1, 2009

PLA Honor Guard

PLA Honor Guard

So today, October 1st, is the 60th anniversary of our largest trading [artner, the People’s Republic of China.

This is from Reuters

Tiananmen Square in central Beijing became a high-tech stage to celebrate the birth of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, with the Communist Party leadership and guests watching a meticulously disciplined show of national confidence.

Celebrations began in the morning with troops firing cannons and raising the red national flag while President Hu Jintao, wearing a slate grey “Mao” suit, looked on from the Gate of Heavenly Peace over the Square.

Chinese Naval Landing Platform

Chinese Naval Landing Platform

Hu descended to Beijing’s main thoroughfare and inspected rows of troops, riding past them in a black limousine and bellowing repeatedly, “Hello comrades, hard-working comrades!”

“From here it was that Chairman Mao solemnly announced the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and from then the Chinese people stood up,” Hu told the guests and troops.

“Today a socialist China embracing modernization, embracing the world and embracing the future stands lofty and firm.”

PLA Type 98 MBT

PLA Type 98 MBT

The two-hour parade of 8,000 soldiers, tanks and missiles, 60 elaborate floats and 100,000 well-drilled civilians was a proud moment for many Chinese citizens, watching the spectacle across the country on television. Later in the evening, Tiananmen Square will be lit up with a huge fireworks display.

“I am very proud of the military today. You can see we are getting stronger and stronger as a nation,” said Qiu Chengjie, a 25-year-old businessman from southern Guangdong province.

Sources: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE58T5DU20091001 and Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia, the People’s Liberation Army has 3,440,000 Active Duty military. They have 1,200,000 reserve troops, and what is termed Paramilitary or possibly regional armed troops, 4,100,000, making a grand total of 7,540,000 troops.

That makes the PLA larger than the combined populations of the Falklands, Iceland, Belize, The Bahamas, Solomon Islands, Estonia, Mongolia, and Botswana.

(Keep that in mind, Botswana)

 

 

 

 

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