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China to reduce armed forces

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[Beijing, September 1, 2003] The People's Liberation Army today announced that it would send home 200,000 of its 2.5 million strong armed forces. This measure, say the authorities, aims at speeding up its modernization programs for the military.

The Gulf War in 1991 was an eye opener for the Chinese government, forcing their leaders to realize that high tech warfare would be essential in future armed conflicts. Though China has cut its service personnel by 500,000 between 1996 and 2000, this new reduction will still put China in first place in terms of numbers serving in the military. It is reported that such reduction, however, has always run into resistance from the military.

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