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China’s military modernization in numbers

July 13, 2011


A look at the key figures that tell the tale of China’s increasing military power:
China increasing military use of space with new satellites

China is taking rapid strides towards creating a network of reconnaissance satellites Photo: REUTERS

 , Shanghai

* +12.6 per cent – the rise in China’s official military budget to around £56.2 billion, still a fraction of the £351 billion that the US has allocated for its core defence budget. (The UK spends £37 billion)

* £96 billion – What the US believes that China is actually spending on defence, rather than the stated figures.

* -22pc – the fall in the number of standing troops in the People’s Liberation Army as China pushes through its modernization programme. The army will shrink from 2.3 million soldiers to 1.8 million, still the largest standing army in the world. (The UK army is 175,000 strong)

* 3 – China’s ranking in the Globalfirepower.com index of military strength. The US is first, Russia is second, and the UK is fifth.

* 80pc – The proportion of new PLA officers who are university graduates, as the PLA smartens up.

* 54pc – The expected rise in the number of Chinese submarines (currently 65) available to patrol the Pacific.

* 2,500 – The size of China’s air force, in planes. The US has an airforce that is more than twice as large.

* 1,400 – The number of missiles that China has pointed at Taiwan. China also has between 100 and 400 nuclear warheads.

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