The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Marine Corps recently conducted comprehensive amphibious landing drills that follow various scenarios. Taking place at an undisclosed location, the drills included the boarding of amphibious armored vehicles onto landing ships and land assault. Upon arriving at the target area, high speed boats first left the landing ships for obstacle clearing and path securing, as naval camouflaged ZTD-05 advanced amphibious assault vehicles followed and launched strikes at targets on the land as they closed in
Under the PLA Navy, the Marine Corps is a combined force responsible for amphibious combat including special operations such as reconnaissance, landing and assault.The Chinese military is continuing its development of the Marine Corps, as it has been expanded into a military service of its own, despite remaining under the organization of the Navy. The People’s Liberation Army Navy plans to grow its marine corps by 400 percent, from 20,000 marines to more than 100,000, and the People’s Liberation Army amphibious units will be folded into the PLANMC.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC) is the marine force of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and one of five major branches of the PLA Navy (PLAN). The PLAN Marine Corps was originally established in April 1953 during the Chinese Civil War by Communist Chinese troops to conduct amphibious operations against islands held by the Nationalists. By the end of the Korean War, the PLAN Marine Corps numbered 110,000 people organized in eight divisions. However, the organization was disbanded in October 1957 when the leadership of China abandoned any plans to seize the island of Taiwan.
The PLAN Marine Corps currently consists of two 6,000-man brigades, with a third brigade being organized from the transfer of the PLA Ground Force’s 77th Motorized Infantry Brigade.12,000 marines are based in the South China Sea. It is believed in time of war, up to 28,000 marines can be mobilized. These two brigades possess combined arms units, including armor, artillery, missile, air defense, and logistics. Especially capable in amphibious combat, the Marine Corps should be considered a vanguard in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the South China Sea and the island of Taiwan.