PLA has undergone three stages of modernization since the foundation of PRC in 1949. The period upto1980 mainly focused on building a large conventional military for countering an invasion and large-scale mechanized warfare keeping nuclear warfare secondary.
This made the ground forces predominant, supported by Air Force, Navy and second Arty. Thereafter the period upto1990 brought about a strategic shift in military modernization with a focus on preparing for a local war under high-tech conditions. With the advent of the information-centric revolution in military affairs, the focus now appears to be on winning local wars under informalized conditions.
Beginning in Jan 2016, China replaced Seven Military Regions with Five new Military Theatre Commands, 13 Combined Corps and 89 Combined Armed Brigades. These commands are headquartered at Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, and Beijing, each with a particular strategic direction.
These forces are supplemented by Special Operation Brigades, Aviation Brigades, Air Assault Brigades, Airborne Brigades, Marine Brigades and other force multipliers including Artillery, Air Defence and Engineers integrated till Combined Arms Battalion level.
The concept of developing the rocket force, space, cyber, electronic warfare and special operations in form of PLA Rocket Force (PLARF), PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) and Joint Logistic Support Force (JLSF) signify a focused commitment to the development of force multiplier capabilities to ensure overwhelming superiority during the conflict.