China's marines take part in a naval drill in Zhanjiang, south China's Guangdong Province, last year. Beijing is boosting its offensive force of rapid-deployment marines by 400% amid plans to dramatically increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean.
China's marines take part in a naval drill in Zhanjiang, south China's Guangdong Province, last year. Beijing is boosting its offensive force of rapid-deployment marines by 400% amid plans to dramatically increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean. Xinhua via AP

China boosts its maritime forces

BEIJING will have five times as many rapid- deployment marines in its offensive force under a plan to increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean dramatically. Chinese media is reporting the People's Liberation Army's 7% increase to $200 billion in defence spending last week. Among the details to emerge is a move to boost China's marine corps from an existing 20,000 troops to more than 100,000. Chinese officials said this was to protect arterial maritime trade routes and enforce its growing overseas interests.


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