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PLA Reserve Forces

Reserve officers are mainly selected from qualified veterans, local cadres, people's armed cadres, militia cadres, and technical personnel corresponding to local and military specialties; reserve soldiers are mainly selected from qualified veterans, trained militia, and local and military professional Selected from the counterparts. The reserve force generally conducts 240 hours of military and political training every year. The military reserve force is an armed organization based on active servicemen, based on reserve officers and soldiers, and organized and organized according to the army. It belongs to the formation sequence of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and is an important part of the national reserve force.

In the past, the reserve forces were under the dual leadership of military organs and local Party committees. The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Central Military Commission lead reserve military forces starting 01 July 2020, in a move which analysts said would "help bring out the best in reserve forces", especially in border areas of its Tibet and Xinjiang regions, improve combat capability and facilitate their cooperation with active-duty units. The decision, issued by the CPC Central Committee, was made public on 05 July 2020, noting that reserve forces are an important part of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). The change in the leadership structure was aimed at upholding the CPC's absolute leadership over the army and building a strong military in the new era.

In June 2020, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued the "Decision on Adjusting the Leadership System of Reserve Forces." The "Decision" pointed out that the reserve force is an integral part of the People's Liberation Army. In order to fully implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Party and the Second, Third, and Fourth Plenary Sessions of the 19th National Congress, the Party's absolute leadership system over the People's Army shall be adhered to and improved to ensure the realization The party's goal of strengthening the army in the new era is to build the people's army into a world-class army in an all-round way, and to adjust the leadership system of the reserve force in accordance with the principle that the army is the army, the police is the police, and the people are the people.

The "Decision" requires that the central and state organs, local party committees and governments perform their national defense construction responsibilities in accordance with relevant laws and regulations and support the construction of reserve forces. Relevant military and local units must resolutely implement the Party Central Committees decision-making and deployment, proactively coordinate, cooperate closely, and do detailed and relevant work to ensure the smooth transition and orderly connection of the reserve force leadership system. The PLA Daily released a commentary vowing to implement the "crucial political move" of the CPC Central Committee. "Centralizing the leadership of reserve forces will make it easier to mobilize and manage reserve forces. They are important supplementary parts of active-duty military units," Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army, told the Global Times on 06 July 2020.

Some technicians of military enterprises are also reserve force members. They will provide technical and equipment support in times of war. Many reserve forces have their specialties. For example, military news outlet reported on June 15 that Tibet has five militia groups involved in patrols, communication, engagements, and rapid response. And 20 personnel who are good at wrestling and unarmed combat from a fighting club are reportedly enrolled as members of the militia.

Reserve forces in China would not be normally mobilized until a large-scale local war breaks out. Existing Chinese military forces are enough to solve possible military conflicts, such as one between China and India over the border. China has always kept a close watch on the developments of reserve forces in the border areas, especially in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as they are important parts of local military preparedness and battles against separatism. The PLA Tibet Military Command's reserve forces are an example. The militia have adjusted to the cold and thin air environment, and are superior in high-altitude warfare. Their special abilities will greatly help the PLA. Reserve anti-aircraft artillery forces in these areas also enhance air defense.

China's current reserve forces are mainly composed of reserve military officers and soldiers as well as a small number of active-service military personnel. Reserve military officers are selected from eligible veteran officers, local officials, and officers in the people's armed force, militia cadres and related technical personnel. Reserve soldiers are selected from eligible veterans, trained grass-root militias and related local and military specialty personnel. Considering the large number of reserve forces, the military capability will be greatly enhanced once they are fully mobilized.

China will reduce its army reserve while increasing reserves for other services, said a senior officer of the country's national defense mobilization department on 10 March 2017. Sheng Bin, chief of the National Defense Mobilization Department of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), said while the army reserve would be reduced, the reserves of other military services including the navy, air force and the rocket force would be increased in a bid to keep up with China's military buildup, as the military reform has made headway.

The structure of the reserve forces would adapt to information warfare from traditional combat-oriented and mechanized ones, said the chief. According to the CMC guideline, a new structure would be established in which the CMC would take charge of the overall administration of the People's Liberation Army, the Chinese People's Armed Police and the militia and reserve forces. The battle zone commands would focus on combat preparedness, and various military services would pursue development.

China had announced a cut of 300,000 troops by the end of 2017 to build a more elite and efficient military. Major General Chen Zhou of the PLA Academy of Military Science said that many officers would retire and would be assigned to new positions in this round of military reform. China would step up efforts on the national level to help retired servicemen resettle to civilian life by adopting a series of laws and regulations, Chen said during a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing sessions of the NPC.

China is short on detailed laws or regulations to assist servicemen and servicewomen, so when they return home, they are treated based on the level of development in their respective hometowns, according to Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. Retired military personnel can return to civilian life in a more fair and balanced way, which would also encourage those still in service as well, Xu said.

In addition to the active ground forces, China has a reserve force of some 500,000 (as of 2008) and a large militia that can be mobilized in wartime to support the war effort within their home provinces. The Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Liang Guanglie said in an interview with Xinhua on 29 December 2010 that China had reduced the country's military reserves forces from 600,000 to 510,000 men and women over the past five years. The reserve force is formed on the basis of the militia, but compared with the militia, its combat readiness and equipment are higher, the organization is tighter, and the combat training is stricter.

With active servicemen as its backbone and reserve officers and men as its foundation, the reserve force is an armed force formed in line with the unified structure and organization of the PLA. It is under the dual leadership of the PLA and local Party committees and governments. The PLA reserve is a key component of Chinas national defense. During peacetime, the National Defense Reserve conducts training and maintains social stability. During wartime, PLA reserve units may be transferred to active duty as directed by national mobilization orders. The PLA reserve is striving to become a more professional force by strengthening recruitment, training, and infrastructure. Professionalization would also require more emphasis on the development of PLAAF, Navy, and Second Artillery Corps reserve units and combat support units, which would probably come at the expense of traditional ground combat units.

The reserve force was founded in 1983. The 1984 Military Service Law stipulated the combination of the militia and the reserve service system. Military training for senior middle-school and college and university students commenced in 1984 as China sought to provide additional qualified reserveservice officers. The reserve force consisted primarily of the militia and was organized into reserve-service divisions and regiments.

In August 1986 it formally became a part of the PLA. In May 1995 the NPC Standing Committee adopted the Law of the People's Republic of China on Reserve Officers. In April 1996 the CMC began to confer military ranks on reserve officers. The Law of the People's Republic of China on National Defense promulgated in March 1997 explicitly stipulates that China's armed forces consist of the active-duty force and the reserve force of the PLA, the People's Armed Police Force and the militia.

In 1987 China began to make reference to the National Defense Reserve Force, which apparently consisted of reserve soldiers (including all militia, demobilized soldiers, and specialized technical personnel registered for reserve service) and reserve officers (including demobilized officers and soldiers assigned to reserve officer service, college and university graduates, and civilian cadres and specialized technicians.

The reserve force implements orders and regulations of the PLA, and is incorporated into the PLA's order of battle. In peacetime, it is led by the provincial military districts or garrison commands, and in wartime, after mobilization, it is commanded by the designated active unit or carries out combat missions independently. It receives military training in peacetime in accordance with the relevant regulations, and, if necessary, helps to maintain social order in accordance with the law. In wartime, it may be called into active service in pursuance of a state mobilization order.

After 25 years of buildup and development, the reserve force had become an important component of the national defense reserve. It is made up of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve and the Second Artillery Force Reserve. The Army Reserve breaks down into infantry, artillery, antiaircraft artillery, antitank artillery, tank, engineering, chemical defense, signals, coastal defense and other specialized forces. The Navy Reserve is mainly composed of reconnaissance, mine-sweeping and mine-laying, radar observation and communications and other specialized forces. The Air Force Reserve mainly comprises ground-to-air missile, radar and other specialized forces. The Second Artillery Force Reserve mainly consists of the specialized missile support force and special equipment maintenance force.

The PLA's reserve force is a force with its own preset organizational structure, with reserve personnel as the base and active personnel as the backbone. The reserve force operates a unified organizational system. In line with the unified structure and organization of the PLA, the reserve force has reserve divisions, brigades and regiments, and corresponding leading organs. Reserve units are organized mainly on a regional basis. Divisions are set up in provinces and brigades (regiments) in prefectures (autonomous prefectures or prefecture-level cities). A division (brigade) can be set up in a region covering more than one prefecture (autonomous prefecture or prefecture-level city), and a regiment in a region covering more than one county (county-level city or district). The divisions, brigades and regiments of the reserve force are conferred designations and military banners.

In recent years, the reserve force has made new strides in organization building and military training. It has gradually enlarged the pool of reservists, improved its organizational methods, and actively explored new organizational models, such as industrial, trans-regional and community-based organizations. It conducts and manages training according to the training program and law, so as to regularize training. As stipulated in the Outline for the Military Training and Evaluation of the Reserve Force, one third of the authorized strength of a unit must undergo 30 days of training annually. Training tasks are based on possible wartime assignments and the caliber of the reservists. The reserve force is in the process of shifting its focus from quantity and scale to quality and efficiency, and from a combat role to a support role. The goal is to enable the reserve and active forces to cooperate closely with each other, to complement each other, and to develop in a coordinated way.

The reserve force occupies an important position in modern national defense and war, which has attracted more and more attention from countries in the world; the number of reserve forces has also gradually increased, weapons and equipment have been continuously improved, military training has been further strengthened, and the gap with active forces has also increased. It's getting smaller, and it's beginning to play an increasingly important role in modern warfare.

With the overall deepening of national defense and military reform, the national defense reserve forces have ushered in historical opportunities for transformation and development. The reserve forces fully implemented Xi Jinping's new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics and Xi Jinping's strong army thinking, deepened preparations for military struggle mobilization, and comprehensively improved the combat capabilities of the support and support forces. Give full play to unique advantages, rely on local talents, technology, equipment and other potentials, absorb high-quality resources into a system, form a system to form a new quality of combat power, and forge a reserve force that is called, can fight, and must win.

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Page last modified: 06-07-2020 19:42:12 ZULU