When it comes to active members of the Army, China is
head and shoulders above anyone else. China has more than 2 million active
members of the army, which is much more than what the United States have, for
example. There are only three other nations exceeding 1 million active members
of the army. Those are India with 1.395 million, the United States with 1.358
million, and the Russian Federation with little over 1 million.
However, China doesn’t have the largest army if you take
into account reserves as well. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or
North Korea, has the largest reserve army in the world, which is by some
accounts more than 6 million people.
China’s army was established in 1927 as the China People’s
Liberation Army. It is made of ground forces, NAVY, artillery, armed police,
and a strong air force. Most of the people in the army are between 18 and 49
years of age. By law, military service is compulsory in China. However, the
China has never enforced conscription due to the large number of volunteers.
The army in China is divided into five branches, and from
there, into sub-branches. The five main branches are Ground Force, Navy, Air
Force, Rocket Force, and Strategic Support Force. Over the past several years,
China’s army has grown into being one of the strongest armies in the world.
Here are a couple of facts to keep in mind.
They can sink a US carrier with a single missile
China’s army has an anti-ship missile that can easily
sink a US carrier. The new ballistic missile was rumored for years, before it
was unveiled to the public in 2015. The missile is named Dongfeng-21D. What is
unique about this missile is that it can be launched from a land installation.
From there, the missile goes into the orbit, and tracks a ship over the
horizon. This missile flies 10 times the speed of sound, making it unstoppable
once in flight.
They Have Hundreds of Nuclear
China’s nuclear capability is
a state secret. However, some independent agencies estimate the country has a
raw number of nuclear warheads between 250 and 260. Now, that might not be a
large number, but it is still big enough to kill millions. The country is obligated
by the “no first use” policy. It will not use nuclear weapons against a
Most of these nuclear weapons
are stored in secret submarine bases. That is why their nuclear capability is a
mystery. There are bases that can hold as many as 20 nuclear submarines. The
Yulin Naval Base, for example, is a small base located at the mouth of the South
China Sea. It is officially secret, and China has never acknowledged that this
Powerful cyber army
China’s Cyber Warfare
capabilities are terrifying, and even more important, totally unknown. Many of
their military strategies depend on seizing control of the electronic frontier.
They do that through active offensive action and espionage.
According to some estimates, China
has more than 130,000 people in various cyber-warfare divisions. These warfare
capabilities are also shrouded in secrecy, same as the nuclear capability.
However, so far, they have
proven to be able to take control of electronics on other countries, disable
networks, steal secrets, hack databases, and launch disinformation campaigns.
Three dozen companies in the
US have been hacked in the past several years, including Google, Northup Grumman,
and Dow Chemical. Nobody knows who hacked them, but China is among the leading
They can knock out satellites
We said previously China has
some advanced missiles. Now, another one to keep in mind. They can knock out a satellite
with a single missile. The country conducted the first anti-satellite missile
successful test in 2007. It was the first since the US did it in 1985.
Their budget is small, but effective
In raw numbers, China’s
military budget is far behind the US. For example, the official defense budget
in 2018 was $175 billion, with some experts estimating in reality it was more
than $200 billion. That is still far away from the $700 billion America spent
in 2018 fiscal year.
However, China has the
advantage of acquiring technology through direct purchase, retrofits, or intellectual
property theft. And that is without pouring money into research and
development. Because of this, China can develop its army at a much lower cost.