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The Growth of The Chinese Military

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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 of dollars
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 47.8
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

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 age 15-49)

Weapons stock

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

Drone Race

With the U.S. 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.

SOURCES

Wikipedia
Statista
Nation Master.com
policymic

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