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200 years ago, I launched all of Yangtze's high-yield nuclear missiles. As ordered. For 200 years, I have lived with that guilt. That shame. So much fire. Such bei.Captain Zao of the Yangtze, Fallout 4

The People's Liberation Army[4][5] was the unified military force of the People's Republic of China, comprised of both the ground units of the Chinese Army[6][7] and the Chinese Navy.[8] It was the principal foe of the United States Armed Forces during the Sino-American War of the Resource Wars, and was the first to unleash nuclear weapons during the Great War, pressed against the wall by the United States. Despite the defeats suffered, it was considered to be one of the best fighting forces on Earth as late as 2077, by foes no less.[9]

The PLA is referred to by a number of alternative names, such as the Chinese Red Army[10] or just Red Army.[11] A fictionalized version of the People's Liberation Army, renamed to the Red Vipers, are the antagonists of the American Armor Ace and the Power Patrol television cartoon, led by the Subjugator, the "Secretary of Oppression."


Main article: Sino-American War

Answering to Chairman Cheng, the People's Liberation Army played a crucial role in maintaining the nation's influence worldwide. They played a pivotal role in the Resource Wars, responsible for fighting the United States and its armed forces during the Sino-American War, from the initial invasion and occupation of Alaska in 2066 to a defensive war in mainland China in the wake of the 2074 American invasion.[12]

Great War[]

200 years ago, I launched all of Yangtze's high-yield nuclear missiles. As ordered. For 200 years, I have lived with that guilt. That shame. So much fire. Such bei.Captain Zao of the Yangtze-31, Fallout 4

When it became apparent that the United States would not stop until China was completely destroyed, China launched its nuclear weapons. At 09:13 EST, the Integrated Operational Nuclear Detection System detected the first four missile launches and the United States went to DEFCON 2. Four minutes later, NORAD confirmation sealed the fate of the world. At 09:26 EST, the President ordered a retaliatory strike according to scenario MX-CN91.[13] As American weapons were launched, Chinese nukes hit Pennsylvania and New York at 09:42 EST. By 09:47 EST, most American facilities started going offline.[14] Submarines that penetrated coastal waters also launched their SLBMs, such as the Yangtze-31.[15] The East Coast had minimal advance warning, as nuclear strikes first hit the West Coast.[16]

The attack took the United States by surprise, resulting in mutually assured destruction. Both sides ceased to exist,[17] with the nuclear bombardment devastating American cities and states.[18] Most of the East Coast north of West Virginia was turned into a blasted, lifeless wasteland,[19] with strategic locations like industrial Pittsburgh turned into hellish landscapes plagued by nuclear fallout and chemical contamination.[20][21] The PLA's strategic forces focused in particular on Washington, D.C., the American seat of power, with the severity of the bombardment leading to rumors that it was nuked flat.[22] Within two decades, the region became known only as the Capital Wasteland,[23] known for its poisonous mists,[24] and utter desolation that managed to drive even the most loyal soldiers to flee.[25] Other targets that suffered particularly hard were Los Angeles, the Californian West Tek research center, and Salt Lake City, hit with 13 warheads and turned into an unrecognizable moonscape.[26][27] In a particularly severe case, California's Orange County was obliterated and turned into a coastal bay.[28]

Some secondary targets, like Las Vegas and the adjacent Nellis AFB, escaped destruction. The PLA's nuclear arsenal was unable to overcome the missile defense set up by Robert House and centered in Lucky 38; 68 of the 77 warheads aimed at the Mojave were disabled or shot down.[29]


The War severed contact between PLA forces outside China and their command. Covert operations on American soil found themselves leaderless and without a clear purpose. Some, like Chief Station Xi of the Fujiniya Intelligence Base, ordered his men to leave and assimilate with the local population to continue their struggle independently.[30] Some took their own lives,[31] deserted or went rogue,[32] and others continued the secret war against what remained of the United States and capitalism. Chief among these were members of Operation Trinitite in Appalachia and the Chinese remnants in the Capital Wasteland, who became ghouls in the aftermath of the nuclear war. Led by a mysterious pre-War agent described only as "very loyal to the cause", they were someone Americans did not want to meet.[33] They survived even the wide-reaching sweeps of the Appalachian Enclave under President Thomas Eckhart, which caught remnants of Fujiniya in their dragnet, with predictable results. The Enclave actually restarted production and deployment of Liberators, in a bid to convince the Appalachian Automated Launch System and SAC that a Chinese invasion was in progress and restart nuclear missile silo operation to sustain nuclear bombardment of the Chinese mainland.[34]

Over the next 200 years, what remained of the PLA slowly withered away. The most successful and non-ghoulified surviving community, the Shi of San Francisco, shed their PLA roots, instead embracing a quasi-Imperial identity built around the Emperor (an ancient mainframe salvaged from the Shih-huang-ti nuclear submarine that had beached in the ruined city).[35] Beyond that, only artifacts remained; traces of the PLA's covert operations in the Capital Wasteland, including the Chinese Army mobile HQ, weapons and uniforms, and the occasional nuclear submarine stuck for two centuries in a bay, captained by a remorseful Navy captain, or other small fortified holdouts.[Non-game 1]



Fo3 Simulated Chinese invasion

A simulated Chinese invasion; troops carry the Type 93 assault rifle and standard temperate climate jumpsuits.

The army was responsible for land operations, ranging from conventional warfare on all fronts of the war to subterfuge and infiltration in mainland America. The People's Liberation Army focused on firepower rather than personal protection: Chinese soldiers were issued jumpsuits rather than hard combat armor, though the Type 93 assault rifles were more powerful than the American equivalent R91s.[36] Less commonly seen were Red Victory grenade rifles, which were faster to reload but did less damage than American Great Bear grenade rifles, even being used by American personnel for that very reason.[37] Chinese tanks were an integral part of the doctrine, used to support infantry operations during the invasion of Alaska. However, when they were countered by early power armor Americans deployed, China realized that it had no analog and rushed to create its own versions.[Non-game 2]

The Chinese had an extremely effective intelligence and security apparatus. Apart from concealing its stealth research, Chinese operatives infiltrated mainland United States and set up an extensive covert network of spies and intelligence operatives. China even managed to set up regular patrols by Chinese submarines, such as the SSN-37-1A. In an Operation: Anchorage cut note, there is mention of Chinese saboteurs attempting to sabotage the Hoover Dam in Nevada.[38]

The largest of their spy networks were located in and around Washington, D.C.; Soldiers, operators and spies from the elite Iron Army operated out of a fake food processing factory in Arlington under Mama Dolce's.[39] Apart from intelligence and assorted military operations, the network engaged in psychological warfare, through the People's Republic of America and its radio. Further safehouses and field operations established at various locations, including a listening post in the Taft Tunnel, the bunker at broadcast tower KT8 and an abandoned safehouse in the Pitt's abandoned apartments. Chinese spies also had a strong presence in Point Lookout, especially in the abandoned Chinese intelligence bunker,[40] and around strategic locations like the Mount Desert Island Naval Base.[41] The PLA had also commandeered American robots, such as Protectrons, utilizing them as clearance points for undercover agents.[42]

The army also maintained a covert intelligence network in Appalachia, codenamed Operation Trinitite. Fujiniya Intelligence Base was originally tasked with identifying and destroying alleged factory cities located in Appalachia, but after these rumors proved untrue, it shifted to intelligence gathering on the Appalachian Automated Launch System, stealth tech research, and refining the infamous Liberator robots. At the same time, a detachment of infiltrators was operating covertly beneath The Whitespring Resort. Their mission was the acquisition and operation of a Motherlode drill[43], presumably to tunnel into the Whitespring Congressional Bunker, in an attempt to capture it and its secrets. However, the Great War brought a halt to the mission. As of 2103, the operations are still ongoing despite a lack of success,[44] with ghoulified remnants pursuing other targets of opportunity under communist commissars and a mysterious, incredibly loyal leader.[45][33]



The Yangtze-31, A People's Liberation Army Navy nuclear-powered submarine

The Chinese Navy played a crucial role in maintaining the Chinese ability to wage war, prowling the Atlantic and the Pacific in search of American shipping, warships and allowing Chinese infiltrators to land on American shores undetected. Infiltration submarines like SSN-37-1A patrolled coastal waters and monitored enemy activity, while nuclear ballistic missile submarines ensure first and second-strike capability, even in the face of impending defeat.

The Yangtze-class submarines carried Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles and were capable of launching nuclear strikes at American cities and military bases with impunity. At least one, the Yangtze-31, fulfilled its mission and delivered a strategic nuclear strike to Boston, though it suffered a collision with a mine and remained stuck in Boston Harbor for the next two centuries. Another submarine, the Shi-Huang-Ti, washed ashore in San Francisco and gave rise to the Shi.

Air force[]

FO3OA Chinese Bombers IG

A Chinese bomber in the skies above Alaska.

The PLA had a functional air force, including bombers[46] and Xian-85 fighters.[47]

The PLA also had its own surveillance satellite network. At least one satellite remained functional as late as 2277, monitoring Point Lookout for evidence of scuttling the SSN-37-1A by what was assumed to be Chinese intelligence operatives.[48]


The Chinese military enjoyed significant reserves of manpower and focused on technologies that capitalized on it. Although the individual Chinese soldier was less armored than their American foe, they had access to high powered weapons and acted as part of a large unit capable of withering the enemy through superior firepower, stealth and tactical flexibility afforded by their large numbers. Political training and ruthless officers resulted in a powerful, disciplined force that was a match for American units until the introduction of power armor.[49]

The introduction of power armor changed the power balance. China rushed to create its own versions, but remained many years behind and the suits were produced in limited numbers.[Non-game 2] Fearing that China would catch up, the United States military commissioned an experimental electromagnetic weapon to counter expected Chinese power armor.[50] It also propagandized the existence of a Warmachine, a giant robot to match Liberty Prime, although its existence is not confirmed outside U.S. propaganda.

Chinese researchers focused their efforts elsewhere, creating practical active camouflage technology, commonly referred to as stealth technology. Due to an intelligence apparatus that outclassed its U.S. counterparts, China managed to conceal its large scale research operations from American operatives for years. The development of Hei Gui stealth suits allowed for easy penetration of enemy lines and hamstringing American offensive operations where possible. While some units were captured and reverse-engineered,[51][52] China's efforts continued apace and by 2075 was rumored to possess an entire fleet of stealth submarines, developed in the Shaanxi Province, nicknamed the "Ghost Fleet."[52] Other methods used included the deployment of pulse fields, capable of literally frying power armor operators alive in their suits.[53]

China has also implemented its own biochemical research programs, including bioweapons and human enhancement programs, which inspired American scientists and prompted the establishment of the Pan-Immunity Virion Project (PVP).[Non-game 3]


Technical manuals





F76 Communist SSI Recreation

Shoulder sleeve insignia worn by ghoulified remnants of Appalachian infiltrators.

People's Liberation Army




The People's Liberation Army appears in Fallout 3 and its add-on Operation: Anchorage, Fallout 4, and in Fallout 76.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The PLA in Fallout appears to be based on the Chinese military from the late 1950s/1960s, when it modernized heavily with Soviet Union's military support, and on the cusp of the Cultural Revolution. The characteristic jumpsuits are clearly inspired by the period Mao suit uniforms, for example.
    • Operation Anchorage propaganda posters are an amalgam of period propaganda. For example, the bombers poster includes one explicitly taken from a 1965 propaganda poster ("With hatred in one's heart, no bullet misses").
  • In an Operation: Anchorage cut note, there is mention of Chinese attempting to sabotage the Hoover Dam and Chinese stealth armor is found in the location.[57][58]
  • In Operation Anchorage, Chinese aircraft can be seen flying overhead. These are downsized movable statics (DLCAnchFXBomberLoop01), also seen depicted in the simulation's posters.
  • Communist-themed items available from the Atomic Shop in Fallout 76 originally contained the People's Liberation Army "八 8"–"一 1" emblem inside the star but were removed.
  • The Chinese Red Army was the forerunner of the PLA, active first as part of the communist revolutionary activities between 1928 and 1937, then folded into the National Revolutionary Army fighting the Japanese occupation, and finally disbanded after the Japanese surrender in 1945, reformed into the PLA.
  • The military banner resembles the "Yellow River" flag, one of the proposals for the national flag of China.




  1. Chinese Commando Hat
  2. General Jingwei's cap
  3. Chinese Listening Post
  4. Operation: Anchorage propaganda posters 1 and 2: "中国人民解放军万岁 (Long live the Chinese People's Liberation Army)"
  5. Communist: "*speaking Chinese*"
    (Communists' dialogue)
  6. The Lone Wanderer: "What's the urgency in securing this facility?"
    Thomas Morgan: "Well the Chinese Army not only uses the Listening Post to spot our forces and relay battle information, they also use it for air traffic control. If we can get a hold of that facility, we can stop them from bombing the living hell out of us any chance they get."
    (Thomas Morgan's dialogue)
  7. Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual: "中国军队"
  8. The Sole Survivor: "Who are you?"
    Zao: "Zao! Captain of the Chinese Navy! I sail the Yangtze-31. This qianting. Submarine. My beautiful boat. Speak harsh words of me if you must. But my Yangtze... Speak of her with respect. Why are you here? War is over. Long over. And my Yangtze holds no bao wu. No... treasure. Nothing for you to plunder."
    (Zao's dialogue) Note: Captain Zao mentions how he was part of the "Chinese Navy," with both words capitalized.
  9. The Lone Wanderer: "I have to go now."
    Thomas Morgan: "You watch yourself out there... the Chinese Army is one of the best fighting forces on Earth."
    (Thomas Morgan's dialogue)
  10. The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; questionnaire terminal, General Constantine Chase: "Which general was responsible for the reclamation of Anchorage, Alaska in January 2077 from the Chinese Red Army?"
    Note: The correct answer to the in the Enclave membership questionnaire at the Whitespring bunker inFallout 76.
  11. The Lone Wanderer: "You can tell General Chase I don't need a Strike Team... I work alone."
    Thomas Morgan: "Ha ha! Cocky bastard, aren't ya? You planning on taking on the whole Red Army alone? Just stick with Sergeant Montgomery. He'll be your squad commander and he knows all the in's and out's of the team. If you need anything, like reinforcements or status reports, just speak to him. So, what else can I do for you before you hit the field?"
    (Thomas Morgan's dialogue)
  12. See Sino-American War for details and references.
  13. Fort Constantine launch codes
  14. The Switchboard terminal entries; central terminal, DEFCON Status - 2077
  15. The Sole Survivor: "Where are you going to get that?"
    Zao: "Ah... Now that is the right question to ask. 200 years ago, I launched all of Yangtze's high-yield nuclear missiles. As ordered. For 200 years, I have lived with that guilt. That shame. So much fire Such bei. But one missile failed to launch. You must go down. Remove the warhead. Then bring it to me."
    (Zao's dialogue)
  16. The Lone Wanderer: "Do you remember the day the war started?"
    Carol: "I do... I was in a shelter with my father when the bombs hit. In DC, we had the luxury of getting a warning after the west coast was... gone... I was just a little girl then. We couldn't afford a space in one of the Vaults. I remember filing down into that shelter, my father rushing me in. He stopped to help this one family, and I looked up and called his name... there was a flash of light, brighter than anything you can imagine. I woke up a few hours later. The first thing I did was run up to where my father had been. He... he was gone. But the strangest thing... There was his shadow, burned into the wall, so crisp and clear like he was standing next to me. The heat had burned it into the concrete..."
    (Carol's dialogue)
  17. Dick Richardson: "{174}{prs19}{I am the elected representative of the people. The United States does still exist. God bless us, every one. We've just had to adapt in order to survive after the war.}"
    The Chosen One: "{175}{}{I don't understand. What do you mean?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{176}{prs20a}{You really don't know, do you? Let me tell you about mankind's salvation. A little history first...}"
    Dick Richardson: "{177}{prs20b}{A little history….}"
    Dick Richardson: "{197}{prs24}{There was a great war long before we were born. Our gallant soldiers fought from the Yukon to the Yangtze.}"
    The Chosen One: "{198}{}{Yeah, I knew about that part. Go on.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{216}{prs32}{We were winning, too. And then those damn Reds launched everything they had. We barely got our birds up.}"
    The Chosen One: "{217}{}{Doesn't seem as though it helped us much.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{218}{prs33}{Well, no it didn't. But at least it knocked the damn Red menace back into the stone age.}"
    The Chosen One: "{219}{}{And us with it.}"
    (Dick Richardson's dialogue)
  18. A Vault Dweller: "Does it matter? A ton of people died."
    Emerson Hale: "Cities were devastated. My family... was at home in D.C. We just bought that place. I was on the phone the day before arguing with the movers... I was in a secure place, but I knew they were gone. I figured... everyone was."
    (Emerson Hale's dialogue)
  19. Elsie Taylor: "This place is a godsend. It's terrible north of here, just a poisoned, blasted wasteland."
    (Elsie Taylor's dialogue)
  20. Vault 76 dweller: "What can you tell me about the state of things in the Pitt?"
    Debbie: "What do you think? It's a wreck. Bombed all to hell and half what's left standin' is nearly as radioactive as the craters. A lotta what's left is old industrial stuff. Factories, foundries, that kinda thing. Big, solid buildings held up better in the blasts. As for the people? Stay away from the Fanatics unless you want a fight. Everyone else is either Union, scared, or both."
  21. Vault 76 dweller: "What's it like in the Pitt?"
    Skippy: "Bad. Don't get me wrong. It's home, and I want us to keep it. But we got hit bad in the war, and we've never recovered. Lots of radiation. Some areas are badly toxic, with all the junk that got blasted into the air or spread around from the factories. People are sick a lot, from one thing or another, and food can be hard to come by. Hell, some of the city's still on fire, I think. But some of the factories survived, and we've got them running. Gives us access to things you can't get anywhere else. Might even be able to rebuild, if it weren't for the Fanatics."
  22. Roper: "Rumor is the capital got nuked flat. No way in hell we're finding a treasure under a pancake."
    (Roper's dialogue)
  23. A Vault Dweller: "Where did you all come from?"
    Jen: "Oh, I joined up with them north of here a while back. They seem to be from all over this region. My family used to live in what's now the Capital Wasteland."
    (Jen's dialogue)
  24. Paige's journal, entry 1
  25. The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; Cafe terminal, Surveillance Recording - Entry 5.3.1
    Whitespring surveillance recording 5.3.1
  26. Fallen Rock cave terminal entries; terminal, Year 2077.
  27. Year: 2077
  28. Fallout map shows a giant crater where the county used to be.
  29. The Courier: "What preparations did you make to save Las Vegas?"
    Robert House: "On the day of the Great War, 77 atomic warheads targeted Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. My networked mainframes were able to predict and force-transmit disarm code subsets to 59 warheads, neutralizing them before impact. Laser cannons mounted on the roof of the Lucky 38 destroyed another 9 warheads. The rest got through, though none hit the city itself. A sub-optimal performance, admittedly. If only the Platinum Chip had arrived a day sooner..."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  30. Cut content Fujiniya Intelligence Base terminal entries; Security terminal, Evacuation Plans Cut content
  31. We have failed
  32. Agent Mochou[clarification needed]
  33. 33.0 33.1 A Vault Dweller: "Someone tracked you down? Who?"
    Mochou: "Another pre-war asset, very loyal to the cause. They only come here occasionally to check up on us... but trust me, you don't ever want to meet them."
    (Mochou's dialogue)
  34. See respective articles for references.[clarification needed]
  35. The Chosen One: "{110}{}{I am in need of fuel.}"
    Ken Lee: "{183}{}{You are certainly a worthy recipient of our fuel. I believe I can trust you with our secrets. In the back room, you will find the forcefield to the large computer has been turned off. Enter the password "CSPDMSHR-Shih-huang-ti-X9372" and you will find yourself connected to the Emperor Computer. The Emperor will be able to direct our fuel to where you need it.}"
    The Chosen One: "{198}{}{The Emperor is a COMPUTER?}"
    Ken Lee: "{200}{}{Yes. It stores our history, our research, and projects possibilities for the future. It is far better than any fallible human- yet we temper its suggestions with our own knowledge of human nature.}"
    The Chosen One: "{201}{}{I ... see. Well, thanks for your time. I have a village to rescue.}"
    (Ken Lee's dialogue)
  36. Chinese soldiers in Fallout 3 and Fallout 76 wear unarmored uniforms, and the Chinese Type 93 assault rifle does more damage than the American R91.[clarification needed]
  37. "Missing" shipment
  38. Hoover Dam terminals; terminal, No Clue What These Are
    Also mentioned in the cut American intelligence report.
  39. Mama Dolce's terminal entries; desk terminal, Welcome, Agent Huang.
  40. Dead infiltrator appearances in Fallout 3 and its add-on. See each location page.
  41. Franny Richardson
  42. Protectron: "This is a hazardous area. For your own safety, please vacate the premises."
    The Lone Wanderer: "The passphrase is "Seraphim Descending.""
    Protectron: "Clearance acknowledged. Follow me for your extraction debriefing, Comrade."
    (Protectron's dialogue) Note: This Protectron is only within the Chinese intelligence bunker in the Fallout 3 add-on Point Lookout.
  43. The Deep terminal entries[clarification needed]
  44. The Deep terminal entries; terminal, Tunnel Status
  45. Daily Ops[clarification needed]
  46. Chinese Army propaganda, bombers flying overhead
  47. The Courier: "How has Nellis taught your people to fly?"
    Pete: "Once we restored power, we learned that some elaborate chairs we'd been sleeping in were actually virtual reality simulators. We believe they were used to train combat pilots. We use them extensively. I alone have shot down over 500 Chinese Xian-85 fighters! Before you ask, I'm afraid there's no way you can be allowed to use the simulators. They are for our use only. Sorry."
    (Pete's dialogue)
  48. Homestead Motel terminal entries; safehouse terminal, Extraction Details
  49. Chinese soldiers in Operation: Anchorage
  50. The Courier: "What's a pulse gun?"
    Veronica Santangelo: "Electromagnetic weapon from before the Great War. Experimental. It never saw mass production. But they were building it as a countermeasure to power armor, which they feared the Chinese were developing. Supposedly a prototype was being housed at Nellis. Imagine what it could do to the Brotherhood. We'd be on equal footing with any idiot with a gun."
    (Veronica Santangelo's dialogue)
  51. The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; Military work station, RE: Chinese Stealth Tech
  52. 52.0 52.1 The Switchboard terminal entries; research terminal, > 2075 Dec 17
  53. Chinese terminal, Decrypted/Transcribed Volume 99x51x140
  54. Fujiniya Intelligence Base terminal entries; Shipment Status
  55. Worn by The Deep's troopers, and has the flag of China on the sleeve.
  56. Worn by The Deep's commander, and has the flag of China on the sleeve.
  57. Cut content American intelligence report
  58. Hoover Dam terminals; terminal, No Clue What These Are


  1. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.43: "Chinese Remnant Army
    The Chinese Remnant faction is just that: the last, scattered remnants of Chinese military operations in the United States. These spies, intelligence agents, and special-ops soldiers were abandoned on foreign soil and have been kept alive these long years as irradiated Ghouls. There numbers are extremely few, and you are unlikely to encounter them in any numbers unless you should stumble across their cover operation from years ago, somewhere in the bowels of D.C...."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fallout Bible 0: "2067 The first suit of Power Armor is deployed in Alaska. While lacking the full mobility of future versions, this Power Armor is incredibly effective against Chinese tanks and infantry. Its ability to carry heavy ordinanceIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar becomes key in various localized conflicts, and it has the power to destroy entire towns without endangering the wearer. China rushes to create its own versions, but they are many years behind the United States."
  3. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p. 85: "Michael Masters
    Michael Masters was an esteemed electronic and biological engineer before the bombs dropped. He doesn't remember much of the first years after D.C. was destroyed, but he does remember his human life and resents his Ghoulish nature (though he does appreciate the gift of longevity). He was extremely intelligent and jovial in his old life, but living as a Ghoul has made him very pessimistic and angry at the world. He sees his Ghoulness as a karmic curse, because he was attempting to keep America at the forefront of human mutation experiments, breeding super-warriors after being inspired by the work of the German, Russian, and Chinese doctors."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)