China's army to become most modern military by 2020: Report

The next 5 yrs will lay a solid foundation for the 2.3-million-strong army to become a world-class military force

PLA to become most modern military by 2020: Report

China aims to complete the reform of its 2.3-million-strong army and have the most modern armed forces capable of 'informationised warfare' by 2020, laying a solid foundation for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to become a world-class force, according to the new five-year military development plan.

In next five years, China's armed forces will realise "a significant increase of key combat capabilities," said the 13th five-year military development plan (2016-2020) issued by the Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall commanding authority of the PLA headed by President Xi Jinping.

By 2020, the PLA will have finished mechanisation of all forces and made important progress in incorporating information and computer-technology, the document said.

The next five years will lay a solid foundation for the PLA to become a world-class military force, it said.

Priorities include the strategic restructuring of different services, the development of weaponry and logistics, IT facilities, combat training and international military cooperation, the official media here reported on Friday.

More resources will be directed to projects that enhance combat readiness, facilitate major reforms and improve benefits for servicemen and women.

Lately, the PLA has undergone significant restructuring, with the CMC taking charge of overall administration, and theatre commands focusing on combat.

Different military branches will pursue their own development.

Measures began in December with the inauguration of the general command for the PLA, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force.

Former military headquarters - staff, politics, logistics and armaments - were reorganised into 15 new agencies under the CMC.

In February, five PLA theatre commands were established, replacing the seven military area commands. China has also started the process of downsizing its armed forces by three lakhs by next year.