China's Auxiliary Forces - PAP and Militia


tamsen_ikard

Junior Member
Registered Member
The Ukraine War has shown how important it is to have the ability to mass mobilize a well-trained reserve force for large scale ground war. Russia has consistently lacked a large infantry force to protect its supply lines and armored forces.

I looked at Chinese forces and its seems they have a very small reserve force of just 500K. But they do have the PAP numbering 1.5 million which is supposed to be incorporated with the PLA during war time.

They also have the Militia. This is a very mysterious force with very little details available on the internet. Its supposedly 8 million strong and is composed of civilians who will fight during wartime.

This is the details I found about the Militia in GlobalSecurity.

"
The militia is an armed mass organization not released from production. It is a reserve force of the PLA and the basis for the prosecution of a people's war under modern conditions. The General Staff Headquarters administers the building of the militia under the leadership of the State Council and the CMC. Under the command of military organs, the militia in wartime helps the standing army in its military operations, conducts independent operations, and provides combat support and manpower replenishment for the standing army. In peacetime, it undertakes the tasks of performing combat readiness support, taking part in emergency rescue and disaster relief efforts, and maintaining social order.

In accordance with provisions in the Military Service Law of the PRC, male citizens from 18 to 35 years of age who are fit for military service, excluding those enlisted for active service, shall be regimented into militia units to perform reserve service. The militia has two categories: the primary and the ordinary. A selected group of militiamen under the age of 28, including soldiers discharged from active service and other persons who have received or are selected for military training, are regimented into the primary militia; other male citizens belonging to the age group of 18 to 35, who are qualified for reserve service are regimented into the ordinary militia. The primary militia may recruit female citizens when necessary."


So, my question is, how well trained is the PAP for ground combat. Can they do Armored Warfare with APC? OR urban warfare with ATGM and MANPADS?

Same question also for the Militia.
 

wxw456

New Member
Registered Member
I looked at Chinese forces and its seems they have a very small reserve force of just 500K.
500k is not a small reserve force. It is bigger than the military of most countries. There are two basic considerations you should ask yourself when assessing reserve forces:
  • What is the economic cost? The primary income of a reservist generally comes from a civilian job. If a reservist goes off for training what is the impact on their civilian employer and does it affect the employability of the reservist? How and should the government compensate the employer for lost labor?
  • What is the level of training for the reservists? Comparing reservists in different countries is difficult because not all countries have the same readiness standards for reservists.
The conundrum for reservist systems is that increasing readiness also increases economic costs. Likewise minimizing economic costs decreases readiness. A reservist system is a careful balancing act between military readiness and economic cost.
But they do have the PAP numbering 1.5 million which is supposed to be incorporated with the PLA during war time.
...
So, my question is, how well trained is the PAP for ground combat.
The PAP is a lot more varied and has multiple functions. It would be impossible to incorporate the entirety of the PAP into the PLA.
  • Internal Security. Guarding government facilities and personnel, guarding strategic infrastructure, border security, civil defence etc. Reforms are underway to move more of the non-combat functions out of the PAP.
  • Counter Terrorism. See the various special units.
  • Policing. Note the deployment of PAP riot police to Shenzhen during the 2019 Hong Kong riots.
  • Coup Prevention. The PAP has a division sized mechanized unit and motorized infantry unit to counter any possible military coups.
  • Supporting the PLA during wartime. Spare PAP units can essentially act like light infantry with APCs if needed.
They also have the Militia. This is a very mysterious force with very little details available on the internet. Its supposedly 8 million strong and is composed of civilians who will fight during wartime.
The internet source you are using is severely outdated. It's been over thirty years since 1990 and it is still referencing the People's War doctrine. The past thirty years of reforms has essentially been moving the PLA away from the revolutionary era People's War doctrine.

The militia is a "mysterious" force because in all likelyhood millions of combat trained militia do not exist. It would be simpler to expand the PAP or PLA. Referencing "8 million in the militia force" is like referencing the "1 million Taiwan reserves" with no rifles. If you look at the numbers of militia actually being organized every year (~90,000) and participating in some joint training (~200,000), then you realise the militia is mostly civil defence at best. That being said the naval militia is much more active in the SCS.
 

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