China: May 25, 2003


The newly selected (by senior communist party leaders) Chinese president Hu Jintao has called for more money to be applied to modernizing Chinas armed forces. This has been going on for over a decade, but only a few of China's 2.5 million troops have been moved from 1970s and 80s technology to the 21st century. At the current rate of modernization, it would take China several decades to get even close to Japan or the United States. South Korea and Taiwan are much better equipped and trained than the Chinese. Many Chinese army units are no better armed and equipped than Russian army units were in the 1950s. Corruption is still a major problem in the armed forces and, historically, the combat ability (to actually win a fight) is quite low in the Chinese military after long periods of peace. The last time the Chinese army fought a war, it was with the Vietnamese in 1979. The Chinese lost. 


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