Republic of China Marine Corps

The Republic of China Marine Corps is the amphibious arm of the Republic of China Navy responsible for amphibious combat, counter-landing and reinforcement of the main island of Taiwan, remote islands, defense of ROCN facilities, and also functions as a rapid reaction force and a strategic reserve.

Republic of China Marine Corps Organization

  • Marine Corps Command: Marine Corps Command is subordinate to Navy GHQ, the General Staff, the Minister of Defense, and the ROC President.
    • Brigades (formerly divisions)
      • 66th Marine Brigade (先鋒 (Pioneer), Taipei area, receiving M60A3TTS to replace M41 tanks)
      • 77th Marine Brigade (鐵衛 (Iron Guardian), Garrison brigade, CCK and other area all over Taiwan)
      • 99th Marine Brigade (鐵軍 (Iron Force), Kaohsiung
    • Groups
      • Amphibious Armor Group
        • 4 Amphibious Transport Squadrons, 24+ tracks per squadron. 1st(AAV-7), 2nd(AAV-7), 3rd(LVT-5), 4th(LVT-5).
        • 2 Amphibious Artillery Squadrons(mortars), 1st(LVT-5) and 2nd(LVT-5).
      • Amphibious Reconnaissance Group (over half of the 600 troops of this battalion are aboriginal Taiwanese)
      • Combat Support Group(combined formerly the Beach Logistics Group and the Communications, Information, and Electronic Warfare Group)
    • Wuchiu Garrison Command
    • Tri-Service Joint Combat Training Base
    • Corps HQ Battalion

Amphibious Reconnaissance Group: nicknamed "Frogmen" and regarded as the ROC Military's counterpart to US Navy SEALs

Republic of China Marine CorpsHi story

The Republic of China Marine Corps were formed from the former Navy Sentry Corps in December 1914. In 2004, the ROCMC redeployed a brigade near the Taipei area to defend against a possible PRC decapitation strike.

The Republic of China Marine Corps used to be 2 divisions, 66th and 99th divisions, in size, when its doctrine focused on retaking mainland China. Since its transition to a defensive posture, the ROCMC has been downsized.

The ROC Marine Corps' official motto is "永遠忠誠" (Always Faithful), modeled after the USMC's "Semper Fidelis".

Republic of China Marine Corps Equipment

Type Make/Model Origin
Tanks M60A3 TTS United States
Tanks M41 Walker Bulldog United States
Armored fighting vehicles AAV-P7A1 amphibious assault vehicles United States 54
Armored fighting vehicles LVPT5A1 amphibious assault vehicles United States 84
Armored fighting vehicles CM-25 AFV(CM-21 with 1 x TOW launcher) Republic of China
Artillery M101 howitzer United States
Artillery M109 howitzer United States
Anti-Tank BGM-71 TOW-2A/B United States
Anti-Tank MK-153 SMAW United States
Anti-Tank FGM-148 Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile United States
Anti-Tank M40A1 recoilless rifle United States
SAM Stinger DMS(Dual Mount Stinger) United States
SAM MIM-72/M48 Chaparral locally upgraded FLIR by CSIST United States
Helicopters Hughes OH-6 Cayuse 500 Defender United States 6
Assault Rifle T65K2 assault rifle Republic of China
Assault Rifle T91 combat rifle Republic of China
Squad Automatic Weapon T75 squad machinegun Republic of China
Sniper Rifle SSG-2000 Switzerland
Sniper Rifle T93 Republic of China

People's Liberation Army Marine Corps

The People's Liberation Army Marine Corps is marine corps of the People's Republic of China's People's Liberation Army Navy. It currently consists of two 6000-man brigades.

Though the Marine Corps was originally established in the 1950s during the Chinese Civil War by Communist troops to conduct amphibious operations against islands held by the Nationalists, the organization was disbanded in October 1957 when the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) abandoned any plans to attack Taiwan. Following the disbanding of the Marine Corps, the PLAN did maintain a naval infantry force, which consisted of several infantry and amphibious tank regiments.

In 1979 the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China re-established the Marine Corps and organized it under the PLAN. On 5 May 1980, the 1st Marine Brigade was activated on Hainan.


The People's Liberation Army Marine Corps is subordinate to PLAN Headquarters, the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department, and the chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The two 6000-man brigades are both based in the South China Sea. It is believed in time of war, up to 28,000 Marines can be mobilized. These two brigades possess combined arms units, including armor, artillery, missile, air defense, and logistics.

Marine Corps: 1st Marine Brigade and 2nd (aka 164th) (Marine) Brigades – both based in Zhanjiang (SSF); 12,000 personnel.

Each Brigade comprises all or most of the following:

  • 1 x Armoured Regiment (2 x Bns w/Type 63 amphibious light tanks),
  • 3 x Mechanized Infantry Bns w/Type 86 IFV and Type 63/89 APC (both amphibious),
  • Marine (Assault) Infantry Battalion. (750 Marines),
  • Special Operations Force Battalion;
  • Missile Battalion (HJ-8 & HJ-73 ATGM's and HN-5 SAM's),
  • A mixed Engineer and Chemical Battalion;
  • Communications and electronic warfare Battalion.

People's Liberation Army Marine Corps can perform a variety of missions. They are considered elite troops, and are part of the rapid mobilization forces of the Chinese military. All marines are believed to receive the best training, which includes parachuting and amphibious warfare exercises. The marines perform two principal missions: serving as the fighting spearhead of any amphibious operation, to establish a beachhead of launch direct assaults against enemy targets inland via amphibious landing, and acting as a garrison or assault group in island chains, in particular potentially disputed territories in regional waters.


Personnel Equipment

  • Type 95 Assault Rifle
  • Type 95 Family Squad Automatic Weapon
  • HJ-8 Anti-tank missile
  • HJ-73 Anti-tank missile


  • ZBD2000 Amphibious Tank
  • Type 62 Light Tank
  • Type 63 Light Amphibious Tank
  • Type 63A Light Amphibious Tank
  • Type 63 APC
  • Type 77 Amphibious APC
  • Type 85/89 APC
  • Type 86 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
  • WZ551 Wheeled APC


  • Type 89 Self Propelled 122mm gun system

The modern day Chinese marine possesses the Type 95 bullpup assault rifle as standard infantry armament. The marine wears a blue/littoral camouflage uniform as standard dress. The effectiveness of this camouflage is unknown, and is thought to be ineffective once the marines penetrate deeper into urban and forested terrain. The marines also make use of GPS and night vision systems to enhance their fighting capabilities.

The People's Liberation Army Marine Corps are equipped with amphibious light tanks and armoured personnel carriers. The Type 63A is the newest light tank in Chinese service. It is based on the hull of the older Type 63 (which in turn is based on the Soviet PT76 amphibious light tank). The Type 63A features a number of improvements, in particular the new welded turret which features much greater armour protection and the 105mm main gun (capable of firing standard NATO projectiles as well as the gun launched anti-tank missile). The marines are believed to have continued operating the Type 63 and the non-amphibious Type 62 light tanks as secondary units. The Type 77 amphibious APC was the standard armoured transport for the marines for many decades. However, new designs have been adapted from the army to complement these aging transports. These include specially modified versions of the Type 89 and Type 63 APCs, with enhanced swimming capabilities. The Type 86 (or WZ501) IFV is also in service with the marines. Based on the Soviet BMP-1, it is armed with a single 73mm main gun and mounts an HJ73 ATGM (with max range of 3000 meters).

For air defense, the marines employ a mix of automatic and manually operated anti-aircraft artillery systems, as well as short range surface-to-air missiles. The marines have been seen operating the new Type 95 self-propelled air defense platform on an amphibious hull similar to the Type 77 APC. This platform is armed with four 25mm cannon with a short ranged SAM combination to achieve effective killing capabilities against low flying targets at short ranges. The Type 89 self-propelled 122mm gun is the first SP artillery system in service with the marines since 1999. This adds additional accurate firepower to the PLAMC.



In terms of equipment, the marines are receiving more modern armoured fighting vehicles. The latest example has been apparently a new light tank. This tank features the same turret as the Type 63A, but is on a lighter chassis that may perform better on water than the original Type 63A hull. Only photos have appeared of this vehicle so far with no firm details. A second new vehicle is a new armoured recovery vehicle, which features a brand new hull. The exact status of both vehicles is still generally unknown.

Deployment Capabilities

The People's Liberation Army Marine Corps in the next few years are expected to have greater deployment capability with the introduction of several new ships in the navy. The primary new ship in question is the Type 071 Landing Ship Dock, which could operate both high speed hovercraft to transport troops and vehicles, as well as helicopters. It has also been reported lately that China may sign an agreement in the near future to finalize the purchase of the Russian 'Zubr'-type air cushion assault transport, which could transport sizeable numbers of troops and equipment at speeds exceeding 50 knots.

With the PLAN's accelerating efforts to expand its capabilities beyond territorial waters, it would be likely for the PLAMC to play a greater role in terms of being an offshore expeditionary force similar to the U.S and Royal Marines.