The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the armed wing of the PRC’s founding and ruling political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Besides the Central Military Commission (CMC) and several minor units directly under it, the PLA has five major service branches: the Ground Force (PLAGF), Navy (PLAN), Air Force (PLAAF), Rocket Force (PLARF), and the Strategic Support Force (PLASSF). A majority of military units around the country are assigned to one of five theater commands by geographical location. The PLA is the world’s largest military force (not including paramilitary or reserve forces) and constitutes the second largest defense budget in the world. It is also one of the fastest modernizing militaries in the world, and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities.