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China to finish military cuts by 2017

Updated: Sep 3,2015 5:01 PM     Xinhua

China said on Sept 3 it will complete the cuts of its standing troops by 300,000 by the end of 2017, in its latest effort to build slimmer but stronger armed forces.

The announcement, made by Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, came hours after President Xi Jinping made a pledge of military reduction at China’s massive military parade commemorating the end of WWII that was staged on Sept 3 at the Tian’anmen Square in central Beijing.

Yang said the move will mainly target troops equipped with outdated armaments, administrative staff and non-combatant personnel, to optimize the structure of Chinese forces.

He said the disarmament decision is in line with the current situation of the state and military. “Chinese armed forces will be slimmer but more capable, and their composition will be more scientific.”

This will be the fourth military reduction for China since 1980s, which boasts the world’s biggest militaries of 2.3 million. In 1985, China downsized its army by more than 1 million, the biggest scale ever.

Yang added that the reform will adopt a step-by-step approach. “More reform measures will be released.”