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Military power of Russia & China

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Russia vs China

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Russia is a country located in North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean with an area of 17,098,242 km2 (land boundries: 22,407 km and costline 37,653 km). The capital of Russia is Moscow. The number of inhabitants is 146,171,015.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with an estimated 150 k troops. Russia is the leading member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The Russian Federation's military is equipped with domestically-produced weapons systems. Russia is the world's second largest exporter of military hardware and has the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

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China is a country located in Eastern Asia with an area of 9,596,961 km2 (land boundries: 22,457 km and costline 14,500 km). The capital of China is Beijing. The number of inhabitants is 1,444,390,177.

The People's Liberation Army is the military arm of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which oversees the PLA through its Central Military Commission. The PLA is outfitted primarily with a wide mix of older and modern domestically-produced systems heavily influenced by technology derived from other countries. Russia is the main supplier military equipment outside the domestic industry.

More about China military

If you want to check the comparison in terms of economic ratios check out CompareEconomy.com

Military expenditures

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Military budget: 86.4 billion $ 408 billion $
Percent of GDP: 4.1% 1.7%

Military budget

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Highest value in the world: 916 billion $ (USA)
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Manpower

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Active personnel: 1,000,000 2,035,000
Reserve personnel: 2,000,000 2,000,000
Available for military: 34,765,736 385,821,101

Active

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Highest value in the world: 2,035,000 (China)
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Land Forces

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Tanks: 12,267 5,750
Armoured fighting vehicles: 24,172 14,130
Total artillery: 18,266 7,094
Self-propelled artillery: 6,443 2,720
Rocket artillery: 4,331 3,140

Tanks

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Highest value in the world: 12,267 (Russia)
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Air Forces

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Total aircraft: 4,418 4,630
Fighter aircraft: 340 1,049
Multirole aircraft: 382 1,130
Attack aircraft: 689 120
Helicopters: 1,665 1,355
UCAV (combat drone): 100 151

Total aircraft

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Highest value in the world: 12,930 (USA)
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Navy

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Total naval: 653 742
Aircraftcarriers: 1 4
Destroyers: 14 38
Frigates: 11 54
Corvettes: 80 73
Submarines: 66 74

Total naval

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Highest value in the world: 967 (North Korea)
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Nuclear weapons

Russia

The second most important state when it comes to researching, developing, and then storing nuclear weapon. Although the Russians managed to catch up with Americans later on, it was only in 1949 that the first nuclear test conducted by then the Soviet Union occurred. It was still quite a surprise for the Western Powers, who believed that Russia won’t be capable of producing nuclear warheads until 1953-1954. After the first test, the nation in question started to rapidly increase the amount of warheads they possessed. In the end of 1980s, they were the leading power when it comes to total number of warheads stored. It was approximately 40,000 warheads.

Nowadays, similarly to United States, the Russians store a total number of 6490 warheads, what is scarcely more than USA. When it comes to the number of deployed warheads, the amount is the same as in case of Americans, namely 1600 deployed warheads. We should also remember about the fact that Russia conducted over 700 tests, what makes them the second most important nation when it comes to developing nuclear weapons. However, it was the Soviet Union that managed to create the biggest bomb in the world. Known as Tsar Bomba, it had blast yield of 50 megatons of TNT.

China

The last of five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT, which at this moment possesses approximately 280 nuclear warheads in total. Nevertheless, the number of deployed bombs is unknown. The first test that occurred to be successful occurred in 1964. The main goal of Chinese was to build a deterrent against two major nuclear powers, namely The United States as well as The Soviet Union. The nation decided to choose dried lake for the nuclear site, Lop Nur. Although China developed and tested its first atomic device only in 1964, they managed to test their first hydrogen bomb only 32 months later. As a result, they can boast with the shortest period between developing fission and fusion technology.

China managed to conduct 45 tests of nuclear weapons. Still, the data regarding the stockpile of accumulated warheads is uncertain. The same thing concerns the number of deployed warheads. It is all due to the limited information that the country provides. We should also bear in mind that they are the only country out of five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT that does not give a positive security assurance.

Military service

Russia

18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; 1-year service obligation (conscripts can only be sent to combat zones after 6 months of training); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces.

China

18-24 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles.