Show of Force: The Growth of the Chinese Military

Show of Force

While the rapid growth of the Chinese economy is becoming the envy of the world, its military power has lagged behind. But Chinese leaders want that to change by increasing spending and firepower.

Spending Surge

China is devoting more and more of its wealth to military spending, which has doubled in less than a decade.

Military Spending in Billions

1991 18.9

1992 22.9

1993 21.2

1994 20.3

1995 20.9

1996 23

1997 23.8

1998 27.1

1999 31.2

2000 33.5

2001 41.2

2002 57.8

2003 52

2004 57.5

2005 64.7

2006 76.1

2007 87.7

2008 96.7

2009 116.7

2010 121.1

2011 129.3

Size Matters

China has by far the largest military in terms of active members, but that�۪s thanks in part to having the largest population on the planet. Here�۪s a look at military size around the world.

Active-Duty Military

China 2,285,000 European Union 1,711,500

United States 1,429,995 India 1,325,000 North Korea 1,106,000 Russia 1,040,000 South Korea 687,000

Pakistan 617,000 Iraq 578,269 Iran 523,000

Active-Duty Military per 1,000 population

North Korea 45

South Ossetia 34.7

Eritrea 33.1

Israel* 22.2

Iraq 20

Brunei 18

Greece* 16.4

Jordan 16

Cambodia 15.7

Armenia* 15.7

* Countries with mandatory military service

Military Might

Here�۪s a look at China�۪s military capacity, from people to firepower.

4,585,000 Total Active Duty, Reserve and Paramilitary Membership

375,520,000 Total Potential Military Members (Males 15-49)

Weapons Stock. Frigates 43 Tanks 11,000 Missiles 600+ Weapons 34,281,000

Drone Race

With the US ramping up its use of unmanned drones, China isn�۪t that far behind, prompting some to worry about an arms race when it comes to the controversial weapons.

Yilong (Pterodactyl)

Length: 29.5 feet

Range: 2,485.5 miles

Maximum Speed: 174 MPH

Maximum Altitude: 16,404 feet

Xianglong (Soaring Dragon)

Length: 15.9 feet

Range: 4660 miles

Maximum Speed: 466 MPH

Maximum Altitude: 57,000 feet

Anjian (Dark Sword)

Length: Unknown

Range: Unknown

Maximum Speed: Unknown

Maximum Altitude: Unknown

Show of Force: The Growth of the Chinese Military

shared by caradelany on Jun 05, 2013 in Politics


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Over the past twenty years, it has become abundantly clear that China wants to increase their military power. Back in 1991, China spent $18.9 billion on their military. In 2011, China spent an asto...
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