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SPOILER WARNING: First Formic War plot details follow.

The wreckage left by the Formics during the Scouring.

The Scouring of China, also known as the Scathing of China, was an major event of the First Formic War.[1]


Moments after contact was made with the Formics and Kenwe Zubeka's shuttle was destroyed, three massive spherical landers, each a kilometer across, separated from the Formic scout ship and streaked toward South China. Captain Mazer Rackham and his crew, deployed in China to train Chinese pilots to fly the experimental HERC aircraft, witnessed the impact of the landers and provided medical aid to injured villagers in the area. While doing so, the lander opened up to expel thousands of Formic fighters and troop carrying aircraft. The Chinese military managed to shoot down a few aircraft, while taking massive casualties in return.[1]

Mazer discovered that each troop carrier contained dozens of Formic soldiers. Each of these soldiers had a container containing a yellow chemical agent and a misting device. When sprayed, this chemical quickly dissolved amino acids, killed surrounding plant life, essentially a defoliating agent used by the Formics to destroy the land of Southern China.[1]

The Formics continued this reign of terror over the Chinese land until the Mobile Operations Police infiltrated and neutralized the Formic scout ship, signaling all the Formic soldiers on Earth soil to return to the landers and launch back to space.[1]


Casualties totaled over forty million. The invasion crippled China's military and agriculture, ruining their economy. After the International Fleet was formed, China was given a pass from giving troops due to their current situation.[2]