China - Armed forces



Active military forces include some 2,270,000 personnel and another 500–600,000 reserves. China has been modernizing the military at a rapid pace even as it reduces personnel. The army consists of 1,600,000 in seven military regions. The Chinese navy consists of 250,000 personnel, including 10,000 marines. The airforce has 420,000 personnel including strategic forces. Chinese military strength includes an enormous amount of equipment including nuclear capability. It is suspected that China possesses 410 strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons. There are more than 100,000 offensive missile forces including ICBMs and IRBMs. The Chinese have over 7,000 tanks, 69 submarines, 21 destroyers, and more than 2,000 combat aircraft. The paramilitary in China includes about 1,500,000 members of the people's armed police. The Chinese are involved in UN and Peacekeeping missions in 6 regions around the world.

Chinese defense spending for 2002 was reported to be $20 billion, but a more accurate estimate is $45–$65 billion. This amounts to 1.6% of GDP, or 3.5–5%of GDP.

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