China Leishen Special Forces
Leishen Commandos fly away on ultralight trikes, which are ideal for sneaky flights across forested areas. This quick and quiet infiltration/extrication transport is good for hunting targets, like terrorists or military command posts. Chinese Ministry of Defense
China Leishen Special Forces


The Commandos, equipped with parachutes, are preparing for the big jump. Given the small size of the plane, as seen from its cramped cabin space, the Leishen are likely using a low flying plane like the An-2, to fly beneath enemy radar coverage before their stealthy insertion.

The Leishen Commando, a PLAAF airborne special force, is in Latin America for joint training with an unidentified country. In addition to exports of tanks and fighters to Latin America, China is boosting its military to military ties on the continent through education, training and exercises. Despite releasing photos of the exercise, the Chinese Ministry of Defense has not identified the Latin American host country.

China Leishen Special Forces

Boating Day

Even far inland, inflatable rubber boats are vital to special force operations, thanks to their portability and stealthiness (oars instead of motors). Leishen Commandos are trained in deep reconnaissance, and can likely call in air and ballistic missile strikes.

The Leishen Commando was formed on September 30, 2011. Previous international deployments include a 20 day counterterrorist training exercise in Venezuela during November 2011. Judging that the activities shown these photos include paradrops, ultralight flights and riverine infiltration, the Leishen Commando’s likely mission is operations behind enemy lines and counterterrorism. The current host nation would likely be Argentina or Venezuela.

China Leishen Special Forces


Despite its association with cinematic icons like Rambo and Katniss, archery is still an important military skill. As carried by the Commando in the center, crossbows offer a silent (much quieter than even a silenced sniper rifle) kinetic option accurate up to 200 ft.

China’s special forces are at the tip of China’s international military to military engagement, having previously gone in Jordan, Thailand and other countries. While Chinese sales of drones, warships and missiles might make more headlines, Chinese military exchanges will build the personal and institutional relationships needed to support China’s emerging global reach.

Link to Chinese Defense Ministry Website

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