The Type 51/61/71 was a family of MBTs standard for the PLA. Designed in 2023, these tanks were meant to be a combination of Soviet and American technology. These tanks would prove no match for American tanks however, and were dominated on the battlefield until the Great War of 2077.
The first of the family to be created was the Type 51. Designed in 2023, it was meant to offer a Chinese original design that would fire the easily producted 105mm round. Seeing the faults with the Type 34 (Unlicenced copy of the T-62), the PLA wanted a tank that could overwelm Soviet or American forces, and challenge the Ultra modern T-87 and M-75. The Type 51 would prove absolutly no match for either, as intel about both rival tanks was gathered in the 1990's. When originally designed, the PLA techs knew that they were almost 30 years behind the U.S.S.R. and almost 70 years behind the U.S. in terms of tech. So the figured they could over run enemy tanks with shear numbers, and hit said tanks in all their weak spots at the same time. Little did they know that American tanks had been upgraded, and the weak spots covered in additional armor. In 2066 when the PLA invaded Alaska, they were optimistic about their tanks. Initial combat proved successful, however the only U.S. tanks the Type 51s fought at that time were light tanks. American Bulldog light tanks were totally outmatched by the Type 51, and Sheridan tanks were over run. U.S. M50 Ontos units managed to hault the advance however, as their multiple guns could engage up to six targets at a time. With the Chinese advance stopped in its tracks, U.S. M75, M56, and M28 units began arriving from the lower 48. With the highly advanced U.S. tanks on on the offensive, PLA tank numbers began dropping by the thousands. By the next year PLA Type 51s were all destroyed, replaced by jury rigged mining vehicles with lasers. With major Chinese forces all but destroyed and General Jingwei dead, only Chinese insurgents and Canadian rebels remained to fight American forces in Alaska and Canada. U.S. Forces then began a slow but successful counter attack on Asian soil while forces in Canada mopped up. With these terrible Type 51 losses, the PLA decided to upgrade their remaining tanks, to attempt to slow the American advance. This lead to the development of the Type 61 an upgraded Type 51 with improved armor and electronics.The Type 61 featured improved armor and a hybrid electric engine. Its 105mm gun was replaced with a Soviet designed D25-T 122 mm gun. Only 2,000 Type 61s were made, and they all served an Anti Tank role. It's effectivness was limited however as it could only render an M-75 temorarily inoperable. The M-75 would simply be towed off by an M565 Armored Recovery Vehicle, be repaired, and be send back out to the front. The Type 61 was also, totally ineffective against the M56. In one fire fight at night, 12 Type 51s and 1 Type 61 engaged a lone M56A2 at about Mid-night 2076. The Type 61 fired its entire magazine of 28 HEAT rounds, point blank into the side armor of the M56. When the sun came up it was revealed that the 122mm rounds had done more damage to the Type 61 than it had the M56. The other 12 tanks were all smoldering heaps of scrap each with its turret thrown almost 25 yards away. As the M56 turret turned to fire of the damaged Type 61, the Chinese crew simply opened up the top hatch and raised a white flag; they weren't about to test the cheap new reactive armor against a 120mm plasma round at 5 yards away.
By December 2076 most Type 51/61s were either destroyed or abandoned. American forces now had the PLA trapped in their major cities. The PLA designers knew that if they could hold off the enevitable final American attack, that they could eventually get back on thier feet again. For this they invented the most powerful PLA tank ever constructed, the Type 71. The Type 71 was a Type 61 with even more armor added and more electronics. Designed specifically to counter the M-75, these tanks would prove to be the only Chinese tank capable of destroying an American MBT. These tanks were only stationed in major cities despite their successful design. On October 23rd, 2077, all Type 71 tanks were destroyed with American high yeild nuclear warheads pounded Chinese cities.