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U.S. and China on the Battlefield

The U.S. Department of Defense has just released information on Chinese military efforts. We've drawn on it and information from other sources to offer this comparison of American and Chinese military resources.

September 10, 2020

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The U.S. is the world's undisputed military power, spending nearly three times as much on defense as the next largest defense spender, China. Together, they account for almost half of the world's total military spending. In 2015, President Xi promised to shrink the People's Libteration Army (PLA) by 300,000 personnel to evolve it from a large Cold War infantry-dominated force to a modern high-tech organization, similar to the U.S. Much is still unknown about the PLA, but the 2020 U.S. Department of Defense report shows that while China has succeeded in building its Navy and cyber warfare capabilities and is looking to double its nuclear warheads, it still has a long way to reach parity with U.S.

Our student-driven online magazine, US-China Today, created a similar inforgraphic in 2011 that you can compare with the current military sizes of the U.S. and China.

Sources: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, U.S. Department of Defense, International Institute for Strategic Studies, PRC State Council, China's Military Strategy.

PDF icon U.S. & China Military Power (PDF)1.24 MB