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Northern Theater Command

The five theater commands, which are identified by their strategic locations in east, south, west, north and central China, base their army headquarters in Fuzhou, Fujian Province; Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Lanzhou, Gansu Province; Jinan, Shandong Province and Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, respectively. The five replaced the former seven military area commands in Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Ji'nan, Shenyang, Lanzhou and Guangzhou as of early 2016. Infrastructure, including communication facilities in the previous seven military area commands, has been taken into consideration for the locations of the headquarters, so that follow-up work on military reform could start as soon as possible.

China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) held a special press conference in Beijing on February 1, 2016, at which the Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun answered journalists' questions about the adjustment and establishment of the theater commands. The new system separates the combat and construction or logistic missions. The theater commands will focus on engagement, while the PLA army, navy and air force will focus on developing their respective forces, said the source. All five commands are expected to have their own army and air force, while naval forces are not likely to be deployed by all five commands. There's no need to build a temporary command system when war erupts, as the joint operations of each theater command will suffice, which is also helpful for troops to successfully fulfill their training and mission, said the source. The five commands will only deploy their own force against security threats, and they need to report to the CMC for additional support.

The Army's subordinate organs within the five theater commands are built on the basis of certain functions and institutions of the former MACs, the Navy's subordinate organs within the five theater commands are built on the basis of relevant naval fleets, and the Air Force's subordinate organs within five theater commands are built on the basis of the air force of former MACs. To date, the adjustment and establishment of the services' organs within five theater commands has been completed.


It was reported 26 April 2017 that China had put troops along its border with North Korea on high alert as fears of imminent conflict mounted. Chinese troops stationed along the border with North Korea have been placed on high alert, according to Japanese daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. The People's Liberation Army has three stages of alertness, and this is the middle stage. Beijing activates it when a "direct military threat" is detected. Soldiers are prepared for combat and are forbidden from taking leave. The order came down in mid-April, and China has moved 150,000 soldiers to guard the border – or to potentially invade the Hermit Kingdom themselves, if they feel the need. Sim Tack, a North Korea expert with geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor, called the Chinese movements an attempt to minimize American involvement on the peninsula.

Chinese forces are keeping their standard operational readiness and conducting normal training along the border between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to a statement April 22, 2017 from the Information Bureau of China's Ministry of National Defense. The remarks were made in response to media reports of China mobilizing air force bombers and on "high alert" of the tension over the Korean Peninsula. "The reports are not true," said the statement.

An editorial in China’s state-run Global Times 25 April 2017 claimed “The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point.... It is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return. All stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.... Once the US launched surgical strikes against North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, the Pyongyang regime will be forced to make a life-or-death decision. By then, if North Korea does not resort to strategic retaliation, its deterrence will lose ground and Washington will play it like a fiddle."

China announced 27 April 2017 it would conduct live-fire drills and test new weapons to counter the THAAD anti-missile defense system the US was deploying in South Korea. Yang Yujun, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, said at a monthly press briefing that given the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) during the complicated and sensitive situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese military will continue to conduct targeted live-fire drills and put new weapons and military equipment through a combat test to safeguard China's security and regional stability.

The military drills will mainly involve the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and the Rocket Force and simulate counterattack scenarios against the threat of THAAD, said Song Zhongping, a military expert who used to serve in the PLA Rocket Force. Song said the drills will simulate two situations: first, how to move stealthily without being detected by the THAAD radar; and second, how to launch a preemptive strike to remove the threat of THAAD in a war scenario using anti-radiation missiles, surface-to-surface missiles or cruise missiles.


In February 2014 , Chinese Second Artillery adjusted the targets, the total of 300 short and medium range ballistic missiles aims at Japan. Various types of air superiority fighters were Transferred to on Zhejiang, on Fujian Coastal Airports. Armored forces concentrated at the Coastal the Positions. Each of branch at the military took up the real exercises. Indeed they implemented the "mobilize for mobilization, mobilization for fighting, and fighting for winning" instructions of the Central Military Committee (the CMC), to be fully prepared for war. At the same time, the CMC CPC, expressed for the possible outbreak of a Sino-Japanese Conflict a 3-point stance :

  1. The People's Republic of China's pursuit of peace and stability in the world environment is a position that has always been consistent;
  2. China wishes the Japanese side to come up with specific solutions to the Diaoyutai issues, neither repeatedly harassing Chinese official law enforcement ships in the waters, nor making dangerous strong provocative actions to the Chinese ships;
  3. The Chinese attitudes toward safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity is firm. China does not want war, but this should not be mistaken for fear of war.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) made assessments for the possibility of US military intervention, concluding the following judgment:

  1. US military intelligence reconnaissance system can selectively provide intelligence to Japan, this military support would be both secret and with practical results, the possibility will be the highest.
  2. Based on the Osprey (MV-22) transport aircraft take off and land vertically characteristics , the US military could provide the MV-22 fleet stationed in Okinawa for Japan to carry out the Islets seizing operations, this possibility ranking is also high;
  3. Soft kill measures of the electronic warfare (EW) is both paralyzed and disrupted the other military actions, and may avoid hard kill causing huge consequences. However, there is no EW exercise fundamental between the United States and Japan. Each side has a strong confidential sense in this regard., it would avoid jointing the Japanese side and carry EW out alone, so the possibility exists.
  4. The air supremacy in war is extremely important. But on the premise of the US national interests, the possibility is lower to provide Japanese direct air cover to crack down the PLA by the US Air Force stationed in Japan.

Japanese think tanks and military analyzed possible attitude and weaknesses of China many times and attained conclusions as follow:

  1. China is likely to win the war against Japan, but it may fail. For a rising power, avoiding another failure in front of the largest enemy in history and suffer humiliation again are concerns which will make Beijing authorities unwilling to go to war With Japan .
  2. Due to economic interdependence, a Sino-Japanese war will cause catastrophic damage, regardless of winning or losing. If Japanese-funded enterprises disinvest from the Mainland, there would have been 5 million people unemployed and t hen tumbled China's economic development . The PLA takes inter-generational development strategy, manufactures much hi-tech weaponry. But at present, the fighting capability is untested. Its effectiveness is doubtful.
  3. When Japan caught in times of crisis, the United States has no position to abide by the commitment of the security treaty and might jump out of the joint safeguard the security of Japan .
  4. China has a policy of trying to avoid military conflict which reveals its misgiving for damaging the commitment of "Peaceful Development" and wishes to reverse the criticism of the "China Threat Theory." Therefore, even if there is a small intense provocation from the Japanese side, the Chinese side will forbear.
  5. The extension of the Conflict does the comply with the Sino-Japanese bilateral interests. Therefore, the scale of the conflict will be governed by their respective leaders and the bilateral conflict will be limited to the locality and region.
  6. China's aircraft carrier is the PLA's strategic center of gravity (COG). As long as Japan can destroy Liaoning (CV16), it would produce a bad setback of the PLA's fighting will. It could be beneficial under the mediation of the United Nations or the Third side and would force China to sign the armistice (or called "chengxiazhimeng" in Mandarin).

Because of the majority Japanese were deeply depressed by the "abnormal country". Shinzo Abe is a tough hawk, whose strong military power thoughts is welcomed and supported. By the way, the assessments of the government think tanks and military show quite sure Of success as well as the self-confidence to the United States must stand on the Japanese side.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:09:21 ZULU