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China Cancels The Revolution
by James Dunnigan
April 15, 2010

Without any fanfare, China has changed the names of its armed forces. Gone are the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) prefix for the navy (PLAN) and air force (PLAAF). It's now just the Chinese Army, Chinese Navy and Chinese Air Force. Since there was no official announcement, there was no explanation for why the old PLA prefix was dropped. The PLA was the original armed forces, founded in 1927, of the Chinese Communist Party. This force was initially known as the Chinese Red Army. After World War II, the PLA name was formally adopted for all the communist armed forces.

For the last two decades, China has been working to modernize its armed forces, and this name change appears to be a minor part of that.



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