Even with the third brigade the Chinese marines are still a small force. The three Chinese marine brigades contain a total of 14,000 troops, plus another 4,000 troops in support and training units.
It is unlikely that these troops would ever set foot on Taiwan. The marines are more likely intended for the South China Sea, Strategypage writes. Which I've noted.
They could be used for the East China Sea, too.
While a lot of analysts dismiss the potential of China to invade Taiwan because they lack a large Marine Corps like America has, I think that conclusion is incorrect.
I think China's amphibious-trained army divisions plus airborne forces would likely be the spearhead of an invasion of Taiwan that goes right for the jugular; but that the Chinese invasion would rely on civilian shipping taking most of the invasion troops into captured Taiwanese ports.
I think they could also have a mission of taking the Pescadores Islands as a stepping stone to the invasion of Taiwan.
For those who still think China can't invade Taiwan because they lack a large marine corps, just how many Marines took part in any of the amphibious warfare operations in Europe during World War II? Or in the southern prong of the Pacific offensive after Guadalcanal, for that matter.
We are unique in having a large amphibious-oriented ground force. But it can be done without that capability. I am sure China is aware of that fact.
UPDATE: Of course, if China keeps up their subliminal conquest of islands, why do they even need a marine corps?
China plans to build the first permanent structure on a South China Sea shoal at the heart of a territorial dispute with the Philippines, in a move likely to renew concerns over Beijing's robust assertions of its claims in the strategically crucial waterbody.
The top official in Sansha City that has administered China's island claims since 2012 was quoted by the official Hainan Daily newspaper as saying that preparations were underway to build an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal off the northwestern Philippines.
You'll recall Sansha, China's Venice of the East.