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Major Military Units of the People's Republic of China

The ground forces are organized into seven military regions (headquartered in Shenyang in the northeast, Beijing in the north, Lanzhou in the west, Chengdu in the southwest, Guangzhou in the south, Jinan in central China, and Nanjing in the east), 28 provincial military districts, four centrally controlled garrison commands (coinciding with the centrally administered municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and 21 integrated group armies. The group armies have strengths between 30,000 and 65,000 troops. Each group army typically has two or three infantry divisions, one armored division or brigade, one artillery division or brigade, and one joint surface-to-air missile or antiaircraft artillery brigade or simply an antiaircraft artillery brigade.

The navy is organized into North Sea (headquartered at Qingdao, Shandong Province), East Sea (headquartered at Ningbo, Zhejiang Province), and South Sea (headquartered at Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province) fleets. Each fleet has destroyer, submarine, and coastal patrol flotillas, possibly even amphibious flotillas, and naval air stations. There are numerous major naval bases: the North Sea Fleet has seven, the East Sea Fleet eight, and the South Sea Fleet 16. The air force has five air corps and 32 air divisions. The major air force headquarters coincide with the seven military regions. The air force has more than 140 air bases and airfields, including ready access to China’s major regional and international airports.

The strategic missile forces, or Second Artillery Corps, are organized into seven missile divisions based in the military regions, with the central headquarters at Qinghe, north of Beijing. There also are training and testing bases. The six operational bases had some 21 launch brigades in 2005.

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