Get to Know the Chinese “Falcon” Special Forces

An English CCTV broadcast shows President Xi Jingping visiting the Falcon Commando Unit in April 2014. The Falcon Commando Unit, part of the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, specializes in counterterrorist operations including fast entry rappelling, evasive driving and pursuit, hostage rescue and close quarter combat. Of particular interest is the retired Il-86 airliner at the Falcon’s base: it is almost certainly used to train for storming hijacked airliners. Given extensive Chinese investment and expatriates in unstable areas from Central Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, the Falcons may soon appear in operations outside of China, akin to the experience of its Western counterparts.