APPROVED FOPDATE: JUN 2CC4
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
Communist Chinas General Purpose and Air Defense Forces
: DIRECTOR Of CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
Co'tunady UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD
UTIVE SECRETARY, U!
As indieoltd owclooi v'^Hi'
The following inlalligonce organizofioni porficipofso' in rhe preparcriion
The Cwitral IniaUiganca Agency ond iha InwIligaiKt orgonliohon* of the De-pon-menu of Sioia ond Dtfow. and tba MSA.
Vice Adm. Rufui Taylor, Deputy Oirador. Cfcitrol
Mr.tvgflai, the Diractor of InhrllHjanca ondDepartment
U. Gen. Joseph f. Carroll; the Director, Dofomo Intelligence Agency "ll. Gan. MwthaWorter, ih# Oiredor. Notional Satwrtty Mr. Howard C. iVown,ha Assistant Ge-nwol Manager, Alomk Enargy Goov
Mr. WUtam O. Oagar, for the AniNM Director. FeoVol Bureau of InmnganOn, .the subject being owhide of hii jurttdiellon.
minion or revajoitfai aj IHlli 'n i II ll Iniiin Jin rohfcrwd.
I. THE PEOPLES LIBERATION ARMY AND THF
The Peoples Liberation Army's Political anil Coveniineiit Role
The Purge of the People* Liberation Army
Consequences for the Military Establishment
II. MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS AFFECTINC CAPABILITIES
Manpower ami Conscription
The Chinese. Communist Army
Air Defense and Air
III. MILITARY CAPABILITIES AND POLICIES
General Trends in Military Policy
The Peoples Liberation Army's Future Political Role
ANNEX: STATUS OF FORCES AND TRENDS
communist china's general purpose and air defense forces
To assess the impact of Communist China's political turmoil on its military establishment and to estimate the capabilities of the general purpose and air defense forces.
China's armed forces (known collectively asLiberation Armyave been drawn deeply intoturmoil that has afflicted China for the past two and aThe PLA has taken on heavy responsibilities for policesecurity work and haside variety ofcontrol functions in ihe economy and government.
PLA has alsoeavy purge, especially ofechelons. Line combat units have so far largely escapedThe PLA itself has been divided at various levels andthe politics of the Cultural Revolution. Thus far the PLAils cue from the political leaders of the country, but inhas emergedoderate force loosely aligned with thebureaucracy and others whose primary concern is withand national security.
factionalism, the general deterioration of socialChina, and the many extra duties that have been imposed onhave degraded Chinese military capabilities largely in termsmorale, and discipline. But in situations whereinterests were at stake, many of the ill effects of thecould probably be fairly quickly overcome. Units, equip-
merit, and the command structure remain intact, and defensiveare largely unimpaired. Thus ihe PLA couldtrong defense of the mainland and would he capable of effective military operations should the existence of the Communist regimes in North Vietnam and North Korea be threatened.
the political, social, and economic situationto the point where the PLA's combat effectivenesssevere damage. On the otheronsistent trendcould enable il to regain full effectiveness within atime. On balance, we believe that the situation will notbad that the PLA would be unable toighting force; nevertheless, much of its time andcontinue to be diverted by noninilitHry activity and politicalthe coming year at least, the power and authority of the PLAto increase. Peking will be dependent on the PLA as themstrument of control, and the military will probably playrole in the political reorganization currently in process.
for the disruption caused by the Culturalhave been few developments in China's general purposedefense forces of great significance during the past year.of Chinese forces has changed little and continues to reflectdefense. The Chinese have notigh priority toprograms that would improve China's ability to project itslong distances outside its borders. The limitations ofand technical capacities are such that conventionalremain deficient in modem equipment at least until well into the
F. Nevertheless, the modernization program for the air defense and general purpose forces is moving ahead graduallyairly broad front along the following lines:
he Anny. Chinese combat units vary considerably in quality andut their firepower is increasing with the addition of more medium tanks and artillery. The levels ofthe Chinese seem to be aiming at cannot he reachedthe anny mucho significant increase in the number of combat units is anticipated, although some increase in manpower might occur in response to the army's assumption of widened civil responsibilities.
rowing iuvcnlory ofighters, addition of better radar,low deployment program lor surface-to-air missiles are improving (China's air defense. We continue to believe that the Chinese willew fighter, and we now believe that the chances are about even that it will be thef the Chinese do not intend to produce this aircraft, it would be four or live yearsighter significantly more advanced than tin- Mig-iy could be available. There has hecu no significant cliange in the tactical strike and air support capabilities of the Chinese Air Force and Naval Air Force.
he Navy. Production of It-class submarines and guided-missile patrol Imats continues, butlower rate than had been anticipated. Other types of patrol and torpedo boats arc being turned out in lonsiderable numbers and deploymentoastal defense cruise-missile system seems to he picking up pace.
I. THE PEOPLES LIBERATION ARMY AND THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
The Peoples lirjerotton Army's Political ond Government Role
During the past year or two the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has emerged as the only rernaining cohesive force in Chinaationw ide system of command ami control. As the authority of the party and the government bureaucracy declined under the Cultural Revolution, the MA was drawn into the maintenance of order and stability. In the process itide variety of administrative und luntrol lunelions in the economy unil the government It has largely stipplitnted police and public security units In many areas. It supervises much ul China's transportation network and functions as overseer in major industrial plants. And it has been assigned new tasks in carrying out propaganda in schools, factories, and rural communes.
Theas also become heavily involved in politics. Military controlwere set up in the provinces to take over theentral functions when the CuI'hmI RrsolutKni all but dismantled thr party apparatus.resolutiunaiy committed, the organizations around which Peking is seeking toew power structure, began gradually to replace tlie military commissions. In theory, the revolutionary committees are "three-way alliances' nf tlie "revoliilinnaiyhe more revolutionary of the old party cadres, and the PLA. In practice, military officer* dominate must id ihrse newTlie mililary'* doiiiinance has been especially pronounced in committees established since the fall In theajor adminUlmlive ureas (out of
a lolalhere revolutionary committees have been set up, military men hold huth tlie chairmanship and first vice chairmanship of eleven committees; they aie chairmen of four olher committees and first vice chairmen of six. Even in those committees where military men do not hold chairmanships, theof these new government organs depends primarily upon the local military. The military is prominent in municipal and county governments as well.
The twists and turns of the Cultural Revolution have resulted in ambiguous and changing directives to the PIuring the various phases of the Revolution. At times it has been enjoined to "support the left but not anyt oUier times it has been directed to restore order and to maintain discipline. The PLA's response lo these directiws has been mixed. In general, it has tried lo maintain an appearance of neutrality. In some areas, however, it lias clearly and openly supported conservative factions. Moreover, as Ihe PLA has assumed more and more local authority, it has itself come under attack by radical organizations. There have been Occasions when Peking has dispatched units to crisis areas from the outside, apparently because Peking felt that these units would be more dependable in supporting leftist factions against local conseivalive forces. There is also good evidence thai in some areas field units have taken opposite sides in factional disputes. There have apparently evenew clashes between military units, though tbey seem to have beenmall scale and did not last long.
The PLA has been divided at various levels, subjected lo purges, and buit'eled by tlie politics of the Cultural Revolution. As its power and influence has grown, rt has found itself heavily involved in local politics as well as in top level disputes. Thus far. ihe PLA has taken ils cue from the political rulers of the country. In general, it has emergedoderate force loosely aligned with tbe government bureaucracy and others whose primary concern is with order, stability, and national security.
The Purge of tho Peoples Liberation Army
PLA was, ololitical army from its inception. Yet, init had become increasingly professional, with many of itspartyconcerned with developing ils militarydiscipline- Bul, once Ihe Cultural Revolutionact, it wasthat it should affect the PLA. As tlie most powerful andin the force structure, itost important target forfactions. Moreover, ils senior officers were political figures and byhistory and belief tied to the various contending civilian leaders.its early stages the Cultural Revolution was fought out in Ibe paitygrowing intensity ol die revolution and especially the emergence ofbrought the slniggle lo the PLA itself. Initially, with the emergencePiao as Mao's heir and lbc specific exemption of the PLA from ihedeclared inao and Liu acted as if the PLA was,be treated as, in their camp. Gradually, however, the PLA came under
attack. Madame Mao in particular seems to have Irird to exert increasingly greater control over the PLA und even supported campaigns against its key figures.
We believe tbat divisions over military and related policiesactor, thoughecondary one. which led Mao to initiate the Cultural Revolution. For example, China's economic problems and technological weaknesses have long provided ample grounds for discord over military priorities and resourceparticularly since such problems had been exacerbated by Mao's disastrous Great Leap Forward and his Iiandling of Sino-Soviet relations. The war inalso must have provoked debate over the likelihood of war with the US, the proper strategy to followonfrontation ocmired, and the advisability of "Joint action" with the USSR againstn Vietnam. And it seems quite clear that the longstanding issue of politics versus military professionalism was anolher source of friction and trouble.
In the earlier stages of the Cultural Revolution some military leaders were probably purged because of their policy differences with Mao. The later purges in the PIA, however, were probably more tbe result of Ihe factional struggles that developed. Whatever may have been Ihe policy issues or political struggles iuvolvcd. the PLA haseavy purge, especially in its top echelons.
About hall of the top central military leadership is known or believed to have lseen purged. Tlie Military Affairs Committee of the parly, the bodyfor military policy, lias lost almost half of its standing members and haseorganization. In the Ministry of National Defense, three of eight vice ministers have been removed. The Ceneral Staff Department, which is respoiivihle for coordinating ooiiiIkiI operations, has lostchiefs-of-staff, and at least five of Ils len other principal officers have also fallen. The General Political Department, tlie organ through which tho party exercises politicaland surveillance in the PLA, has ceased to (miction at tha center. Theof the armored forces, the railways corps, and apparently the artillery forces have been purged. The political commissars of the air force, navy, and the railway coips have fallen. About half of Ibe casualties at the central level were military professionals and half were political specialists. Insofar asfor the purged figures have been identified, most seem to have been drawn from the professional wing of the PLA.
(J. There has alsoeavy toll at tlie military region and military district levels. But the casualties at these levels have been mostly politicalAs far as is known, field armies, line divisions, and lower combat echelons have largely escaped the purge, at least to date. Many commanders haveintensive attack by militant Red Guard units,umber have been formally endorsed by Peking in the past several months. Yet there is good evidence that the liehavior of certain field units has not pleased leaders at the center.
risis occurred in Ihc summerheame under anviolent altack, but suddenly this effort was halted and then repudiated.
Events surrounding this reversal suggestroup of PLA leaders resisted the political attack against them and that Mao and tlie radicals were made acutely aware that they had pushed the PLA too far. At any rate, follow jug Die summerhe harsh line toward Ihe PLA was abandoned and several ultraradicals identified with it were themselves purged.
Consequences for the The Military Establishment
The purge and reorganization of national level military organizations and tbe preoccupation of top level polilical leaders must have seriously interfered with policy guidance and overall military planning. Certainly the tension and stress under which the badly depleted leadership operates have not beento thoughtful con.sidtT.il ion of complex milituiy problems. Normal staff und administrative functions almost certainly have been affected also. Despite events of the summern atmosphere of uncertainly, suspicion, and fear almost certainly has persisted.
Even though the formal military command structure remains intacl, morale and discipline in Ihe PLA must have deteriorated. Tlie military forces inevitably have been affected by the disruption and divisiveness lhat the Culturalhas brought to Chinese society in general. All ranks of the PLA, through their expanded control and police duties, have had ample opportunity to view the more vivid manifestations of the struggle going on in their country. There arc reports that troops arc weary of incessant political indocl titration and frustrated by Ihe handicaps under which tltey are compelled to operate in dealing with civil disorder. Polilical attacks against many senior officers and the strains and antagotiisms caused by factionalism wilhin the PLA have only added to the problem,
Tbe many extra duties thai have been imposed on the PLA have broughtecline in the combat readiness of the PLA. Probably something on the order ofrercent of Ihe PLA's time during the past year or so has been taken up by activities in someway connected with Ihe Cultural Revolution. Tlie brunt of these new duties lias been borne by the army. The navy and air force, though involved also, have apparently not had their routine as badlyThe damage done thus far to combat readiness could be fairly quickly repaired once the PLA was relieved of its extra duties and was permitted to resume its normal activities. The principal problem is lhat, given Ihe sorry state of Peking's administrative and governing apparatus, the central authoritiesdispense with tlie PLA in Its new role.
There is mounting evidencenltttanlial amount of damage has been done to military production and research. The Cultural Revolution has been carried inio Ihe National Defense Scientific and Technological Commission and into all six of the ministries responsible for military pioduction, Production rales of many military Hems cannot be estimated in detail, but there is sufficientlo say that nearly all military production has been reduced to some degree.
nl t inl .t Mi^-l'-i f Kg;.iii', in I'.llVi'
almost certainly due to economic dislocations caused by the Cultural Revolution, and construction ol naval craft lias slowed down.
II. MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS AFFECTING CAPABILITIES General
m for llie disruptions caused by the Cultural Revolution, there have been few developments in China's general purpose and air defense forces of any great significance during the past year. Tlie positiuning of lorccs-in-bcing has changed little and continues to reflect concern with defense.esult of the war in Vietnam, the South China area continues to have some priority in air defense preparations, and naval forces in that area continue to be strengthened. There has been no significant strengthening ol ground troops along Cliina's southern border, however, There has been no noticeable Chinese militaryto the buildup of Soviet forces along the Sino-Soviet border and inDuring the tension in Korea over the Pueblo incident last winter, we detected no military reaction whatsoever on the part of the Chinese.
n Ihe main, the Chinese are nut building forces or developing capabibtiesarge scale designed specifically for ont-of-eountry operations. Equipment programs that would improve China's ability to project its power over long distances outside its borders seem still not toigh priority, and much of the conventional equipment being produced is best suited to air and coastal defense.
Manpower ond Conscription
7 Peking imposed moratorium un conscription and demobilization, but in3 both were resumed. About the same time, Peking apparently reduced the terms of service by two years, after having extended them as recently5 Apparently the terms of service now are two years for the infantry, three years for other branches of the ground forces, naval forces asboie, and the air force, and four years for naval forces afloat. We do not know what motivated this change in policy. One of tiw purposes may be to subject larger numbers, including some troublesome underemployed youths, to intensiveand discipline. It may also be intended to make more experienced veterans available for the militia in order to stiffen the discipline of that force. In two periods ofthe food shortages which followed the Creat Leapand in the recent factionalmilitia did prove to have been unruly.
e think il unlikely that Peking intends any significant increase iu the number of combat units. It is possible, however, that some increase inis intended to assist Ihe PLA in performing its many civil duties. The new conscription policy will place the additional task uf Iniining larger numbers
of rtm recruits oo tlsc already overburdened PIA Technical prohoencv will also suffer, but des can be Unjcfy offset if, as teem* hkely. the PLA manages to maintain un experienced cadicelective retention.
t is becoming increasingly clear that Ihn Chinese are requiringiiiws in tlie development and pruductsun of military hardware than would seem reasonable on the basis of Soviet or Western experience. Wo also find that our projections of the quantities of equipment that the Chinese an; likely to produce liave frequently Isren too high. The disruptions of the Cultural Revolution partly account tor Chinese production probleim, but morefatturs aie China's shortage of highly trained scientific and technicalits lack of experience In managing complex production processes, and posulsly the pinch of economic stringency There are exceptions, of course.
Tho Chinos* Communist Army
Tbe Chinese Gmmunist Anns-hich numbers aboutillion, in. Indesombat divisions. Disclosures in Chinese news mediathe activities of military units lu the Cultural Revolution andi of other sources has Increased our confidence in this estimate. There areew eases where tliere Is any substantial doubtivision's existence. Our information Is insufficient to determine the strength andlevels of many units. But wc do know that there is considerable uncveiutess In Usear strength and
The modernization of the CCA Is making gradual progress Oldis being replaced and units are being supplied with more artillery and armored equipinent. Though wa are as yet unable to gauge the program in detail, the levels of equipment the Chinese seem to be aiming for could not be reached fluoughout tlse CCA much5 at the present rate of procurornenl Even then, the CCA's firtpemes and inobuity would be well below current Western or Soviet standaids, and the Chinee would face serious deficiencies In conventional combat against modern opposition.
main Chinese battle tank isyopy of the Sovietwe estimate normal annual production to be.elf-prupelled artillery in production orhese is goodthat the artillery component of some infantry divisions is beingthe introduction of additionalm field guns.
here are indication, that the Chinese missile program includes work on rn.ss.les considerably .smalleredium-range ballistic missile (MRBM).
We aie nol sure whal the Chinese have in mind, bul wc are inclined lo doubt thai this activity peahe curly deploymentactical ballisticnlikely that the Chinese would deployystem wllhonl nuclearanil wc believe lhat the limited supply of fissionable material will be committed lo Ihe strategic weapons program. Thus, we estimate thai it will he several years before the Chinese couldactical ballistic missile system.
Air Defense ond Air Forces
hina's air defense system continues lo diow improvement. The air surveillance network bas boon improved and extended into some new areas. Expansion ol SAUroceeding rather slowly, but therowing. Deployment of these fighters to operational units in border and coastal regions of south and east China has im prosed air defense fn these areas- The all defense system has responded vigorously to isolated intrusions into Chinese airspace, particularly in south China, aad it has bad considerable success agauut these intrusions. Air defense control und contrmmtcdliomare abo improving buterious deficiency. Despite these im-pruvrmcnts. Chin* could nol copeajor air attack and will not be able to do so for at least the next several years.
e have horn expecting Ihe Chinese to begin tinning outor about two years, but they still have not started production. An airframe plant und an aircraft engine plant in Chcngtu in Szcchwan Province have been the prime candidates for producing. Although the Chinese are rleailywith improving their uir defense and theouldignificant contribution to their efiort. they may have encounlerinl difficulties.ngine technology, for example, is considerably more difficult than that for the Or production may have been delayed for economic or oilier reasons.
t appears to us the Chinese have two opuoos; to try to produce ih*r toightrt essentially of their own design. Of tbe two, producing therobably the loss difficult and more rapid route. Thus we believe that Ihrte is still an even chance that they- will produce tbef the Chinese do not intend to produce this aircraft, it would be at least four or five yearsighter significantly more advanced than tlieould be available.
lie question of Chinese intention to produce the TC'-lfl medium liomberroblem similar to that of thec are quite certain thai in the1 the Soviets were providing the Chinese with the plant and technical help for producing thefter the Soviets withdrewhe Chinese proceeded with construction. Wc do nol know,what aircraft Ihey might produce al Ihe plant or when production might start. Oimldering the uses toedium bomber could be put, we
' Ow- ofhal this activity relate*unula* lorlava
ubilityiaitiimJ in foitlieontlrig. "Communut China'. StMle|ne
Wtiapnw rsssfjaai "
behove (hero is still about an even chance that theillCX'thcy arc in fac cSuf ,T>
S nth TUirWfably look lo theainlyarner lor nuclear weapons.
iV'6 Prfahiyl5,SAM Hcwployed
Chinese SAMopy of the Sovietystem, but the Chinese have in ro
educes the syZsZ
nerabihty to electronic countermeasures. An antireconnais.ance mission con-tmucs to govern Chinese SAM deployment, but there probably willintnsiliontrategic point defense over the next several years.
here apparently haso significant change in the tactical strikeupport capabilities of the CCAK It still dcrLdslS
ithhich have Iwcnround attack iole TI
die Chinese sdl. have an extremely Limited airlift and airborne assaultovo! Forces
epl^ment'on of the Chinese Communis, Navy (CCN)
trends in traunng imbcato the Chines want to increase generally their capa-
fcr.ltsea frontier outward* The prospects are
tor fairly slow progress to these
Iass submarines continues but slowed downnd no additional launching is expected The submarine
Ttl* sonars. Several types of coastal patrol craft are being turned out fa considerable numbers. The guided missile patrol boat program is continuing, butonsiderably slower pacee an.-cipated. The Chinese arc apparently aboutegin Le -tcns.ve deploymentoastal cruise-missile defense with the Samlet or Styx system. The Sarnie, is considered the more likely because of its longer range
III. MILITARY CAPABILITIES AND POLICIES Capabilities
s indicated above, tbe Cultural Revolution has degraded Chinesecapabilities largely in terms of readiness, moiale. and discipbne. But units and eqmpment are largely intact and defensive disposiUons largely unimpaired
Thus, in sions where China's vital interests were ut stake, many of the ill effects of the Cultural Revolution could probably be fairly quickly overcome. Theould be capable oftrong defense of the mainland should China come under external threat. We believe it would also be- capable of effective military operations should Ihc existence of ihe Communist regimes in North Vietnam and North Korea be threatened.
At the same lime, local situations have substantially reduced Ihc PLA's capabilities in particular areas. In Tibet, for example, Peking would have to pul an end to the prolonged factional strife before Cldnesc forces could be as formidable as thev were in Ihe Si no-Indian crisis2n Fukieu Province, opposite Taiwan, and in Yunnan and Kwangsi Province on Chinas Southeast Asian frontier, the PLA has been caught up In serious and protracted political strife. As matters now stand, before il could undertake military operations in these areas, Peking would have to move in additional troops to take over administrative and control duties vacated by combat unils and to ensure thai Iranspoitalion lines were kepi open. And the central aulhnri-ties are probably moie reluctant than in the past to consider the use of ground forces hi these areas so long as tlie political turmoil continues.
Whether Chinese mililary capabilities will improve or furlher decline will, of course, depend greatly on the course of the Cultural Revolution.the situation could deteriorate to the point where ihe PLA's combat effectiveness would suffer severe damage. On the olheronsistent trend toward moderation could enable the PLA to regain full effectivenessairly short time. The situation is not likely to get so bad that the PLA would be unable to functionighting force, but much of its time and energy is likely to continue to be diverted by tionmilitary activity and political stress.
General Trends in Mililary Policy
espite Ihc political turmoil, the military sector will almost certainly retain its high priority in Ihe allocation of resources, and strategic missiles and nuclear weapons will continue to have the stiongest claim of all. This willa general, but only gradual, improvement in tho equipment of the general purpose and air defense forces. As ihe process of modernization goes forward, however, the Chinese will lace steeply rising economic costs, aud as theyto move ahead with original weapons research and development there willurther stretching of scarce scientific and technical resources. Chinas need for highly trained specialists has been seriously compromised by llic two-year closure of its universities, and the Cultural Revolution has appreciably weakened Ihe economic underpinnings of Peking's mililary ambilions. With economic flexibility thus reduced, decisions over resource allocation may become increasingly difficult and constitute another source ofiigh councils.
olilical uncertaintiesudgment regarding the decisions on military policy which will be made- It may be that Mao, though he probably
has supporters in iIx military, dors nol now darr to challenge the military by trying to make fundamental tliangrs or In inaugurate policies cerlainIt is not even known that lie wishes to do sn, In any ease, dissension in (lie lop leadership and the regime's dependence on then running tbo country might forestall any major organizational change* or shuffling of priorities in the near term.
The Peoples liberation Army's Future Polilical Role
The future of China as well us that of the PLA will depend greatly upon Use relative power position of Ihe PLA and its ability to rxeit induence onpolicy formulation For the coming year at least, it seems likely that ihr power and authority of theill increase. Peking will be dependent on the PLA as the only efTectisr inMnimet* of tontro! And the PLA will probablygmfscaitt role in the political reorgararation currently in process. It "ill thus beosition to expand its power at local levels and probably at the center as well, should it choose to do to.s likely to try to work for moderation of the Cultural Itrs-ohrtion and Ihr restoration of order in the country.
If the PLA's position should be enhanced, the Maoists might feelto attack il once again.risis could arise il Mao should try tothe organization and inner woikuigv of ihr PLA or to introduce radical innovations iu military policy. In this ciisu there would be seriousof tlie PI .As capabilities. If Ihe central author! lies proved unahle orto restore order, the PLA's politicalilion could becometo the point that the mililary would in rlfed be governing China. In this event, tlie PLA would probably be able In lime to pull itself together and to restore ils militaiy posver.
STATUS OF FORCES AND TRENDS
Tlie Ministry ot National Defenseunder Ilie policy control of theairs Committee of the Party Central Committee, is the senior mili tary authority. The chief staff components of the MND are ils three general departments, the General Staff Department, the General Political Department (now no longer functioning at thend the General Hear Seivk.esMost combat arms and services, such as the air force, navy, armor, artillery, and selected supporting organizations, are represented at the MND level by separate headquarters. However, there is no separate headquarters for the mfaiitry forces, which are apparently controlled directly by the MND.
For ad mi nisi rat ive pin posts, mainland China is divided inioilitary regions (secnd these arc divided into subordinate districts. These arc territorial rather than operational coinniauds and in most cases conform tolmundaiies.
The main field command organization of the Chinese Communist Armys the army, nf which there arehe typical army Includes three infantry divisions and one artillery regiment, and probably numbers0 at full strength. There is nothing in the CCA analogous to the Soviet combined arms or tank armies. (See 'Table)
Despite continuing progress in exploiting all available sources, wc are not able to establish with confidence the aclual personnel strength and the amounts of equipment on hand in the majority of CCA units. Some may be at or near the levels of Ihe formalescribed below; olheis probably fall short of what thealls for, and some may be well below this standard.
We estimate that at full strength tlie standard infantry division would number0 officers and men- Its principal combat elements would be
3 infantryrtillery regiment,ank/assault gun regiment. Its heavy equipment, all of Soviet origin or design, would include94 tanks, andrssault guns. Hie division wouldm.m) anil rccolllessm andm) as welluns andm,m.m,n addition to the standard infantry division, the Cliinesc have light divisions for use in mountainous and olher difficult terrain. Tliese type units are similar to the standard division but do not have rhe tank/assault gun regi-ment, are equipped with lighter artillery, and have less organic vehicular
ESTIMATKD NUMIUvR OF ARMY UNITS. JUNE
Oiiih.il Support Hr.j'imiTl* (Army 10
BordW Internal Detensrr SO
Camhil Support Divisions .. 24
Service Support 11
Qifulml Hrglincnt* 10
Roidei/Internal Dcli'itic Kcgimriili (Independent) 24
Cnmbal Supportndrpxixienl) 5L
a Rcxlal LauiwW
Svrviee Support Rcgortcnt* 34
1 Railway Knginrrr
" We estimate no niKitintin! diange in lltese figuresiliv ll.itc airborne divisions ore subordinate to the CCAF, but aie, for lite pUipOSC ol thii paper, includede CCA.
Tbe Chincsr armored divinon at full strength would numberfficers and men- lis principal toinbil elements wouldrmored regimenM.nfantry regiment, andrtillery icgiment Tlie compost-tion and equipment holdings of tlicse divisions vary somewhat. As additional armored vehicles becomehird armored regiment may be added to armored divisions.
The CCA has two types of field artillery divisions. The gun division would have0 men at full strength- it usuallyegiments equippedm gunsun jjiiii-liowitzcrs. The howitzer division would have aboutroops; it isrganizedrtillery regiments equippedmm bow-Hen. andocket launcher rcgliiK-rrl, equippedm or HO mm multiple rocket launchers.
tt. Chinairborne divisions, all subordinate to the Chinese Communist Air Force (CCAFJ. bu! little is known about tbeir training, actual strength,
'-dings of equipment, or about Chinese doctrine concerning their employment. The estimated full strength of the Chinese airborne division0 officers and men. Irs major subordinate elementsegimentseavy weapons battalion. The division's equipment consists of uxhvidua! weapons and light crew-served weapons, the largest of which to believed to bem mortar. In peacetime, control olirborne divisions appears to rest with the CCAF, probably for ease of administration and tMining In combat,they most likely would be considered as ground force troops, font tolled at theater or field army level becwuse of their mobility potential.
U. Our knowledge ol actualf small anus is better than forof equipment
[ Their* ore-
iteasoruhie assumption that alt infantry umts areth, oravailable, tnerr fuD complement of individual ciew
he amount of heavy equipment, such as artillery, tanks, ami vehicles, cither in the hands of the troops or maintained for quick access, is more difficult to determine. In the case of artillery, wc believe that tbe number of weapons in the majority of units is at or near tlie number -v.he number of guns in them/SS mm gun battalion organic to the artillery regiment of the standard infantry division may be Increasing in conjunction with the replacement of them gunopy of the Sovietm field gun. On the other hand, we have not yet detected any increase* in either the number of artillery divisions or the number of guns in this type uf division. Evidence tending to confirm the presence oi artillery thought to be organic lo infantry regiments and armored divisions is limited.
Sunn' iiidependenl armored regiments and some regiments of the armored division mav nave fewer tanks than called for in the estimatedilh continued armured vehicle production, tank holdings in thesecould increase.
It has not been possible lo determine Ihe number nl wheeled vehicles actually present and organic to CCA units. Although it is possible to estimate vehicle productiun, the ratio being consigned to the CCA for exclusive use by the military is unknown. It is highly probable that most transportation units respond to bolh military and civilian organizations. The number of vehicles assigned tu these units may dependmge degree upon civilian construction and produciion requirements of the area, rather thanormal TO&E. In any emergency situation, it is expected that many of these vehicles would be assigned to specific military units.
The Chinese have no separate tactical air command, and we have noconcerning PLA doctrine on the use of aircraftlose Support role. At present any tactical strike or ground support mission would fall principally on0 or so IL-2Ss in the CCAF and CCNAF,ew fighter divisions in thehich have ground attack as their primary mission. Tlie remainder of the operational fighter force is assigned to air defense, wilh ground attackecondary role.
The Chinese have an extremely limited airborne assault capability. The principal limitation on the employment oi Chinese airhume forces is the small size uf the Chinese air transport fleet which consists largely of light transports andew medium transports. We luive no evidence of preparations for productionedium or heavy transport aircraft; however, tbe Chinese have recently indicated their desire tu impruve their airlift capability by purchasingubs from the Soviet Union. These medium transports are the only rear extraction aircraft in the Chinese inventory and their total force nowbe total lift capacity of the entire Chinese military transport force is0 lightly equipped troops. Total cargo capacity is about throe million pounds. Civil aircraft could augment this capacity by aboutercent. Depending on aircraft availability and various operational considerations,ortion of this capacity could be utilizedarticular time.
B. Air Force
CCAF and Naval Air Fores:umber approximalelyand are equipped with0 aircraft. The largest activein lire CCAF is tbe Air Division, with each division consistingeeor estimated number* of military aircraft ui
ESTIMATED Nt'MBEHS OF MILITAMY AIRCHAFT IN OPE RATIONALfiS-Iir70)
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ho present strength of the jet light bomber force ei. The number of sorties Sown per month by the averagerobablyuste to maintain minimum proficiency. Moreover, the fact that many pilots have been flying these same aircraft for up toears would probably provide the bombrr force with sufficient eaperience to conduct daytime medium or low altitude bombing missions. With only limited training done at night, it seems likely that the night and radar bombing capabilities of most crews would lie very marpnaL
he strength of both fighter and bomber unit* has been relatively stableast two years, though we have increased our estimates for some units owing to rraisi-ssmcnt of the evidence and, of course, because of continuing
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roduction. Bomber attrition appears to have leveled oil, und as new Mig-lDs have been introduced into jet figbter units, some older aircraft liave been phased out.egiments currently have aboutircraft per unit and fighter regiments aboutircraft.
Probably less thanercent of Ihe fighter force has airborneequipment; however, the large majority of these are. The Soviets may have piovided the Chineseimited number ofype missiles when they delivered the, and the Chinese may be producing some of theseansel vc-s. They have the technical capability, though nofacilities have been identified.
The CCAF exercises its administrative and operational control throughir districtsimited number of air elements assigned directly toCCAF. Although there is no "Air Defense Command" in the US or Soviettall element of CCAF Headquarters coordinates and controls all air defense operations, including those involving ACctW, antiaircraft artilleryurface-to-air missilesndupplied from the CCAF and CCNAF. There are no known "commands" responsible for CCAF or CCNAF tactical, bomber, or transport operations.
The air defense command directs an extensive air surveillance andnetwork comprised ofadar stations withadars.3 withdiawals of older radars have about equaled replacements, and the total number of radars In the network has not changed appreciably. The replacement radars have included sophisticated models of native ChineseQualitative improvement of China's air defense radar network probably will continue to enjoy high priority.
Thereeavy concentration of radars in coastal areas, particularly in South Chiii.i. Tlie coastal radar net provides seaward early warning (EW) coverage to an estimated rangeautical milesnd ground control intercept (GCl) coverageor targets of medium bomber size. Tbe heavy deployment of radars in coastal areas has improved performance against low level targets, but tracking of aircraft at altitudes lowereel above the terrain probably is still erratic and undependable. At present, GC] coverage is fairly complete throughout the eastern and central interiornf China. All major population and industrial areas and almost allmililary targets are covered. Future developments will probablyexpansion of tlie EVV net on China's borders with the USSB, Mongolia, and India. GCl coverage will probably be reinforced in Ihe interior of China and be extended to the border areas.
The air defense weapons system includes aboutir andnny AAA divisions and alrmy AAA divisions which arc more lightly gunned.
Some of these units are deployed in point defense of important targets. These AAA divisions are operationally subordinate to the CCAF District Headquarters in tin- area in which tbey are located
In addition to their cunvention.il AAA, the Chineseimited SAM capability- Wc estimate thut there are aboutAM battalions currently in the fir Id. There are probably upattalion sets in research and development support or training status. Aboutr so new units are expected duriuc, 1UCS. with perhaps ns many asodditional units by the end
The antirccoimaissance mission continues to govern curient Chinese SAM deployment. We believe, however, tliat as available SAM units uiorcase, Qnna willradual transitiontrategic point defense intended tu provide thin protection for its advanced weapons facilities, expected strategic missileand vital rnilitarv industrial targets. We feci certain, though,ubstantial percentage of tlie SAM fcace will continue to be kept icUlivrlv mobile Ir. an effort to interdict and deter aerial reconnaissance and Ihc intrusions of oilier aircraft. SAM battalions utilized in this rule will also be able lostrategic air defense requirement* should the need arise.
Chinese Communist Navy (CCN) now includesestroyer escorts.oydrofoil motor torpedo boats,uided mistlle patrol boats. Personnel strength is estimated0 in the naval air force. The estimated inventor)'units throughs given in Table
ver the past year or so, the most significant cliangc in the Qrinrso naval force was the addition of overmaller combatants composed almost equally of hydrofoil torpedo boats and fast patrol craft. These units provided aaugmentation of the coastal defense forces. One Kiangnan-classescort,lass submarine,mall number of guided missile boats were also added.
Administrative and operational control over the naval forces is exercised through tbe Gwrunander in Chief of tlie Navy. Orders from ibe Minister of National Defeme arc passed to the (Commander iu Chief of the CCN via the General Staff for information and coordination. CCN Headquarters is located in Peking The CCN is comprised of three major Beets: North Se* Flee! withstngtao, Fast Sea Fleet with headquarters in Shanghai, and South Sea Fleet with headquarters in Chau-Chiang (Fort Bayard).
The South Sea Fleet was strengthened7 by tbe addition of two Kiangnan-class destroyers escorts and several squadrons of ihe liu-ebwantorpedoontinuing Ihe trend begun Compared svith
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Landing trailtfcq> (AHL)
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the North and East Sea Fleets, the Soulh Sea Fleet is still weak in patrol escorts, however, and docs notubmarine force. Shipbuilding and shorein South China have also been significantly expanded and modernized, most noteworthy being the constructionrydock at Yulin on Hainan Island
of the rrsodern and sophisticated nasal equipment continues toto the North Sea Fleet, where the mute advanced training andis carried out.class submarines,lass submarine,of thele boats are assigned to this fleet.
Theroop lift capability with amphibious ships and binding craft islus infantryroops)nfantryrtilleryut amphibious training appears to receive little emphasis. In port-to-port operatioiis, ships of the merchant rnarinr fleet could delivernfantry divisions (upn addition, inwhere the use of smaller ships and craft is feasible, the Chinese could employIk- thousands of junks for transporting troops andrrprncnt. Ihe amphibious force is aging and replacement will soon be leqnired If Iho present capabihty is to be maintained. Construction of landing craft CLCM) is taking place as much for civilian use as in possible naval use.
Tho CCNAF Is predominantly an air defense force. It includes both fighter and jet light liotnber regiments. All naval operational fighters aie assigned to air defense. Although administratively controlled by CCNAF headquarters at Peking through the fleet hriidqoarteis, in their air defense role lighter units are operationally controlled by the CCAF. The bomber regiments are used for patrol and bombing activities in coastal areas and are controlled liy tbe fleetew of theegimentsimited torpedo attack capability.
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