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China dismisses rumours to downsize its military

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BEIJING (PTI): China's military has dismissed as rumours recent online reports that it plans to downsize its personnel by eight lakhs, saying the current size of the force was "appropriate".

A senior officer of the General Staff Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said Saturday that the recent online rumours about PLA's disarmament was "not true," according to the Chinese Defence Ministry website.

There has been speculation on the internet recently that the PLA would reduce the number of its military personnel by 800,000.

"Such rumours are not true," official Xinhua news agency quoted the unnamed officer as saying.

The officer said China has always controlled the numbers and size of its armed forces within the limit allowed by the national strength and necessary to maintain state security.

The current size of the PLA, which numbers 2.3 million, is "appropriate," the officer was quoted as saying.

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