How does the Chinese Army stack up when it comes to power, capabilities and military strength compared to the Indian Army?
The Chinese army has a long history, stretching back to ancient times. In recent decades, it has seen tremendous investments in technology and modernization, becoming a major player in 21st century warfare. In comparison, the Indian Army’s modernization began much more recently, although the country has made large investments in the defense sector, leading to a modern force.
When it comes to overall numbers, the Chinese Army is significantly larger than the Indian Army. As of 2020, there are more than 2 million active personnel in the Chinese military, while the Indian Army only has around 1.3 million active personnel. Additionally, China is estimated to have more than 35000 tanks in its inventory, while India has around 4000 tanks. In terms of air power, the Chinese Air Force has an estimated 3400 fighter jets and 1400 transport aircraft, while India has around 950 fighter jets and 450 transport aircraft.
What about technological capabilities? The Chinese military has an impressive array of modern weapons, including the Dong Feng-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, the J-20 stealth fighters, and the latest version of the Type 99 main battle tank. Additionally, China’s space program has made significant progress over the last decade, including the launch of its first space station, Tiangong-1.
In comparison, India’s defense modernization is still a work in progress. The country has embraced the use of advanced technology, such as the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the BrahMos-II hypersonic missile, but the development of space-based technologies lags behind that of China. India has also made significant investments in modernizing its air force, but it still has a way to go to match China’s capabilities.
When it comes to military strategy, the Chinese Army also has the advantage of having a clear, long-term strategy in place to counter potential threats. This includes its “string of pearls” strategy in the Indian Ocean, which involves building relationships with countries in the region in order to better monitor and control the geopolitical situation. India, on the other hand, has yet to fully develop a grand strategy of its own.
So, is China’s Army stronger than India’s? On the one hand, China’s larger numbers and advanced technology give it a clear advantage. On the other hand, India has been making significant investments in its military, and its strategy and capabilities are advancing rapidly. In the end, the answer may depend on the specific context of the situation.
Indian Army Capabilities
The Indian Army is a modern, professional force and is capable of taking on any challenge. It is equipped with advanced weapons, including the supersonic BrahMos missile, the Cruise missiles, over 4000 multi-role aircraft, and the latest version of the indigenous battle tank—the Arjun MBT. Additionally, India is investing heavily in its tactical airlift capability and has recently purchased new helicopters for its special operations units.
India is also investing heavily in developing new capabilities, such as tactical UAVs, swarms of drones, and hypersonic missiles. Furthermore, the country is also leveraging its space program to develop its own GPS system, as well as India’s own satellite-based communication system. The Indian Army is also developing new cyber capabilities, such as a cyber-command unit.
The Indian Army also has a strong battlefield experience, particularly in counter insurgency operations, which it has gained through recent engagements in Jammu and Kashmir. Strategically, India has a no-first-use policy of nuclear weapons, and its doctrine of “minimum credible deterrence” places an emphasis on non-extreme, limited use of military force in response to provocations or other threats.
The Indian Army has also been making efforts to reform and modernize its procurement system, allowing for faster acquisition of sophisticated equipment. Additionally, the Indian Army is looking to increase cooperation with the armed forces of other countries, particularly those in the Asia-Pacific region.
Chinese Army Capabilities
The Chinese Army is a major military power, with an estimated 2.2 million active personnel, 35000 tanks, and 3400 fighter jets. Its massive air force and navy are some of the most advanced in the world, and its missile force is among the most powerful, thanks to technologies like the Dong Feng-21D anti-ship ballistic missile. Additionally, the Chinese Air Force is investing heavily in developing its drone capabilities, and already has some of the most advanced drones in service.
The Chinese Army also has a large and modern strategic nuclear force, with an estimated 260 nuclear warheads. Strategically, the Chinese Army follows a doctrine of “win-win” situational strategies, making use of both coercion and coercion-backed diplomacy in order to achieve its foreign policy goals. Additionally, the Chinese Army has also been making efforts to build a “multi-polar world” in order to challenge the hegemony of the United States.
The Chinese Army is also investing heavily in experimental warfare capabilities, including its directed energy weapons program and its “father of all bombs”, the DF-4. Additionally, China is making great progress in its space exploration program, including the launch of its first space station, Tiangong-1. China’s space program is seen as a major factor in the country’s military capabilities, as it allows for more accurate targeting of military assets.
Finally, the Chinese Army is investing heavily in its cyber capabilities, with an estimated three million personnel in its online forces. This allows China to launch cyber attacks, intercept data, launch cyber espionage campaigns, and even disrupt the communications systems of its adversaries.
Military Spending in Comparison
Given their respective sizes, the amount of money spent by both India and China on their militaries is rather significant. For example, China has an estimated defense budget of around $167 billion, while India’s defense budget for 2020 is estimated to be around $67 billion. In terms of military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, India is much lower than China at around 1.7%, compared to an estimated 2.4% for China.
India is placing a significant emphasis on the modernization of its military forces, and has recently introduced some major reforms in the defense sector, including changes to the procurement system and the introduction of new infrastructure projects. However, as of yet, India has not been able to match China’s impressive defense modernization programs and its large scale military build-up.
Despite the large size of its defense budget, a significant portion of China’s military spending is dedicated to research and development (R&D). As such, a large part of the Chinese Army’s modernization has come from its investments in leading edge technology, providing the country with a substantial edge over India in some areas.
Observations and Analysis
It is clear that the Chinese Army is a much more powerful force than the Indian Army, and its recent investments in the defense sector have only made the gap larger. This is especially true when it comes to technological capabilities, as China has heavily invested in developing and fielding advanced weapons systems and unmanned aerial vehicles, while India’s defense modernization is still a work in progress.
The Chinese Army’s strategy and doctrine are also more advanced and sophisticated than India’s. The Chinese have a clear long-term strategy in place and have made extensive use of both diplomacy and military power to achieve their foreign policy objectives. India, on the other hand, has yet to fully develop a comprehensive strategy of its own.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether the Chinese Army is stronger than the Indian Army depends on the specific context of the situation. In terms of capabilities and resources, the Chinese Army has a clear advantage. However, India is making significant investments in its defense sector, and its capabilities are improving rapidly.