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Eastern Order of Battle

Chinese Beijing Military Region
Ground Forces in the eighties

After the Sino-Soviet border conflict, both sides had stationed huge military forces in inner and Outer Mongolia. In the seventies and eighties the three Soviet Combined Arms Army at the Sino-Soviet and Sino-Mongolian border to confront six Army Groups of the People Liberation Army. In the late sixties, the Soviet forces of the Transbaikal Military District used World War two military equipment, for example, IS heavy and T-34/85 medium tanks but later got modern weapons too.

The Military parade in honor of the 35th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China. The military units of the Beijing Military Region in 1984.

At this time the Chinese People Liberation Army was a huge mass army with outdate military weapons and tactics. The Beijing Military Region is mainly responsible for defending the People's Republic of China from Mongolia and the USSR, and also protects the capital of China.


The seven Chinese fortress of the NorthEastern Frontier


The Beijing Military Region had the largest number of military personnel during the Cold War. Six large Chinese Group Armies served in the Beijing Military Region in the eighties:


The military units of the Beijing Military Region in 1989 on the Tiananmen Square. AP Photos

Chinese Beijing Military Region
10th Air Corps in the eighties

The Beijing Military Region's Air Force Headquarters was formed in October 1950. In June 1957, the Beijing MR Air Force and Beijing MR Air Defense Force were merged into a combined air defense system, covering Hebei, Shanxi, Neimenggu, Beijing, and Tianjin provinces. The Beijing MR Air Force contained two Air Corps. The 10th Air Corps was established in January 1969 at Datong, Shanxi Province, and the 13th Air Corps was created in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, in August 1970 (The latter was abolished in March 1976.)

The Beijing Military Region's Air Force was the most important Chinese military region during the Cold War. The Air Force is mainly responsible for protects the capital of China Beijing and defending the People's Republic of China from Mongolia and the Soviet Union in the seventies and eighties.


Above: Military crews of the 38th Air Division in front of four their Shenyang J-6 (MiG-19S) ‘Farmer-C’ fighter aircrafts in the late seventies.

Above left: The 50th Air Division demonstrative bombing over inner Mongolia region with Q-5 (1st Gen) 'Fantan' in the late seventies. The 50th Air Division was established in 1971, later used Soviet-made MiG-15bis 'Fagot-B', and Nanchang Q-5 (1st Gen) 'Fantan' ground attack aircraft type from the middle of the seventies.

Left: The elite 7th Air Division received a regiment Chengdu J-7I (MiG-21F-13) ‘Fishbed’ interceptor fighter type in the late seventies. The J-7I type used for the first time PL-2 air to air missile in the Chinese Air Force. Photo:

After the Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated, the Soviet Tactical Air Force deployed one fighter, and three fighter-bomber air division to Mongolia and the Transbaikal Military District.

The Soviet MiG-21bis ‘Fishbed-L’ and MiG-23M/MLA ‘Flogger-B/G’ tactical fighter types were a very modern aircraft over the Inner Mongolia region in the seventies and eighties. The leaders of the Soviets looked down on the Chinese Air Force. Only 20% of the VVS aircraft was fighter aircraft. In comparison, in east Germany, 50% of the VVS was fighter aircraft at the same time. According to the leaders of the Soviets, the Su-17 ‘Fitter’ fighter-bomber type is equal in the air to air combat with the Chinese MiG-19 ‘Farmer’ type.

Chinese Shenyang J-6A (MiG-19P) 'Farmer-B' all-weather interceptors of 38th Air Division landing

Chinese 7th Air Division used early Chengdu J-7I (MiG-21F-13) ‘Fishbed-C’ high-speed interceptor

The Chinese Air Force's most modern infrared-guided PL-2 air to air missile. The PL-2 short-range missile was very outdated in the eighties. The Chengdu J-7 (MiG-21) 'Fishbed' and the Shenyang J-8A 'Finback' interceptor aircraft used this missile.

The 50th Air Division's Nanchang Q-5 (1st Gen) 'Fantan' attack aircrafts wore a white combat camouflage scheme. The photo was taken in 1984.

The air divisions of the Beijing Military Region's Air Force deployed near to Beijing capital town. The fighter divisions used Shenyang J-6 (MiG-19) 'Farmer', Chengdu J-7I (MiG-21) 'Fishbed' and new Shenyang J-8 Finback interceptors.

The tactical bomber and attack air divisions flew with Nanchang Q-5 (1st Gen) 'Fantan' and older Soviet-made MiG-17 'Fresco-A' close air support type and Harbin H-5 (IL-28) 'Beagle' bombers in the eighties. The 8th Air Division received a regiment with Xian H-6 (Tupolev Tu-16) 'Badger' twin-engined jet strategic heavy bomber.

In the late seventies, established the Datong Command Post and Tangshan Command Post under the Beijing MR's Air Forces:


* Clarification is needed.
** The 17th Air Division transformed into a Training Base in 1988
*** In Sep 1980, the 34th Air Division changed to Independent Transport Regiment. In Marc 1988 changed back to 34th Air Division that is  in fact directly subordinate to the PLAAF headquarters

In the late seventies and the early eighties, the Soviet Tactical and the Long-Range Aviation forces deployed modern Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer' and Tupolev Tu-22M2 'Backfire' supersonic, all-weather bomber aircraft to the Chinese border. The Chinese 7th and the 24th Air Divisions defended China's capital town Beijing with new Chengdu J-7II (MiG-21) Fishbed and Shenyang J-8A Finback interceptors type. And a lot of HQ-2 'SA-2 Guideline' anti-aircraft missiles unit settled around the town.

Chinese 7th Air Division used Chengdu J-7II (MiG-21) ‘Fishbed’ interceptor with PL-5 short-range air to air missile

Shenyang J-8A Finback of the 24th Air Division take of with afterburner

A lot of HQ-2 'SA-2 Guideline' anti-aircraft missiles unit defended the Beijong capital town. This photo taken on military parade in 1984.

The Chinese Air Force's first aerobatic team established on February 1, 1962, at Yangcun airport. The main task of the new air unit was to air escorting and flight demonstration. Their Shenyang J-6 (MiG-19) 'Farmer' fighter replaced on better performing Chengdu JJ-5 (MiG-17) 'Fresco' twin-seat trainer aircraft in 1980.

In 1987 the team was renamed the August 1st Aerobatic Display Team to commemorate the founding of the People's Liberation Army on August 1, 1927. The aerobatic team used this vintage MiG-17 ‘Fresco’ type until 1991.

Chinese Chengdu JJ-5 (MiG-17) 'Fresco' demonstration flight in 1984 with Xian H-6 (Tu-16) 'Badger' bomber.

Chinese August 1st Aerobatic Display Team's Chengdu JJ-5 (MiG-17) 'Fresco' aircraft.