lørdag 30. oktober 2021

Just how strong is the Chinese military?

Amid repeated air incursions close to Taiwan, and reports that China has tested hypersonic weapons, the world is paying closer attention to the modernisation of China’s armed forces and its pursuit of ever more sophisticated weaponry. Once hailed by the Communist Party as having defeated past adversaries with only “millet plus rifles”, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has now grown into the world’s largest fighting force, with more than two million active personnel.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has become more diplomatically assertive and shown an increased willingness to back up its claims over disputed territory with demonstrations of its military prowess. Neighbouring countries, and the United States have been watching closely.

“The increasingly loud voices sounding alarm of a potential China-US conflict in the South China Sea mostly came from the fact that the US is now seeing China on equal footing because of the latter’s growing army,” said Yin Dongyu, a Beijing-based analyst on the Chinese military. “And that’s quite a good indication of China’s growing military strength already.”