China creating second largest marine corps to secure Belt and Road Interests

China plans to increase the size of its marine corps from about 20,000 to 100,000 personnel to protect the nation’s maritime lifelines and its growing interests overseas.

China is shifting brigades from the army to the Marines and Navy to shift from a land war focus to securing Belt and Road ports and other South China Sea islands and trade routes.

China is reducing the size of the People’s Liberation Army by 300,000, with nearly all of the cuts coming from the land forces.

Some of China’s Marines would be stationed at ports China operates in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and Gwadar in southwest Pakistan.

China has already shifted two brigades of special combat soldiers from the army to the marines. China will increase to six marine brigades with a total of 100,000. China will also boost the Navy by 15% from 235,000 to about 270,000.

China’s new marine corp will match the combined total of the next 4 Asia countries

In 2017, the US Marines Corp had around 186,000 active duty members and 38,500 reserve Marines.

The US marines including reserves has nearly equaled the combined marines corps of the rest of the world’s militaries combined.

China will now increase to nearly half of the US total. China’s new total will match the combined total of the next 4 marines corps in Asia (Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand.)

There are 29000 in South Korea’s marine corp.

There are 12000 in Russia’s Naval Infantry.

There are 7760 is the UK Royal Marines.