There's been long standing misconception among westerners, particularly Americans, who believe China has a powerful military that could rival ours. I
beg to differ.
Let's leave aside corruption and equipment and look at some basic aspects of military readiness.
Projection of Power:
China has a very large force. If one includes reserve components and paramilitary capabilities, you're looking at roughly 10 million personnel.
Sounds scary right? Well, fielding such an army in a true war time scenario would be a logistical nightmare. Supply lines would be stretched for
hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. The vulnerabilities of these lines would be nearly impossible to secure, let alone being able to transport the
thousands upon thousands of pieces of equipment that would be necessary to keep a fighting force on the roll.
China cannot project power beyond it's immediate area. They have ONE aircraft carrier and while that may worry some ATSers, it does not worry me and
Satellite Takes Picture of Chinese Carrier on the
While Chinese carriers could challenge U.S. naval supremacy in Asia, China still has far to go in bringing such systems into play, experts said.
The U.S. operates 11 aircraft carrier battle groups and its carriers are far bigger and more advanced.
The former Soviet Union started building the carrier, which it called the Varyag, but never finished it. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the carrier
ended up in the hands of the Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.
China bought the ship from the Ukraine in 1998 and spent years refurbishing it. It had no engines, weaponry or navigation systems when China acquired
It's an outdated frame using technology that the Chinese developed. I completely disagree with the notion that Chinese carriers could threaten US
Naval supremacy in the area, not now, not in the near to mid future.
Their air force lacks fifth generation aircraft, as well as the needed logistical support capability that would be required to project the power of
that air force beyond it's immediate area.
China has a large and widely inexperienced force. Conscripted and poorly trained, lacking a goal oriented doctrine, and forward looking analysis by
it's officers, who are also largely untested in combat. In reality China is simply a paper tiger, one match and it all goes up in flames.
Now if we add the high level of corruption and poor equipment to the mix, a lack of soldier fielded technology, and proper training doctrine, then we
have a recipe for a large and losing war machine.
In short, China has a VERY long way to go before it can present a challenge on the battlefield.