How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?

The comparison of military strength between China and the United States has always been a subject of hot debate among military enthusiasts. They must have this question in their mind: How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?

In 2023, the media and think tanks of the United States and Russia provided an answer to this question by comparing data. For instance, the “China Military Power Report,” released in 2023 by the United States, sheds light on this issue.

The People’s Liberation Army has 2,200 fighter aircraft, 459 combat ships, and nearly 5,000 missiles, making it the most powerful military in Asia and a significant security threat to the United States.

Objectively speaking, China’s military strength is worthy of its reputation as Asia’s No. 1, but the United States intention to “praise” is very obvious; in fact, it is to serve the purpose of hyping up the “China threat theory.” Relatively speaking, the evaluation results given by the Russian Satellite News Agency, which cited data from well-known think tanks, are more objective.

In the view of the Russian media, the United States is still the undisputed world’s most powerful country. In terms of the actual strength comparison between China and the United States, China only has numerical advantages in terms of soldiers and artillery.

Let’s find out How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?

Army

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?
American Troops

Specifically, the advantages of Chinese military personnel need no elaboration.¬†In terms of active service, the People’s Liberation Army has over 2.03 million soldiers, while the US military has only 1.39 million.

Considering the gap in the population base, China will maintain this advantage for a long time. In terms of artillery, among the major arms, the People’s Liberation Army Army can compete head-on with the U.S. Army. This has been fully reflected in the Korean War.

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?
Chinese Troops

The Chinese Army’s equipment has been continuously updated and iterated for more than half a century. Coupled with the help of military reforms, the People’s Liberation Army Army has overtaken the US military in terms of weapon quantity and performance.

Air Force

Looking at the air force, in terms of the number of combat aircraft, both the Chinese and American air forces have exceeded a thousand aircraft, while the US military has nearly 2,000 combat aircraft, which far exceeds the Chinese Air Force. From the perspective of fighter models, China and the United States both have fifth-generation fighters, but the US Air Force has a huge number of F-35s.

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?
F-35

As the domestically produced J-20 has not yet reached full capacity, china has a disadvantage in terms of the number of fifth-generation fighters. In terms of fourth-generation and other sub-level fighters, the number of China’s J-16s has exceeded 300, and the number of the J-10 series is around 400 to 600, which is constantly narrowing the gap with the US Air Force.

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?
J-20

At present, china’s biggest shortcoming is still in the field of special aircraft, such as transport aircraft and tankers, and their mass production speed is far from reaching the expected target. Generally speaking, the Chinese Air Force is still in the “initial stage of active fighter production.” Although the “aging” problem of the US Air Force’s fighter aircraft is also very serious, a skinny camel is bigger than a horse. The Chinese Air Force still has a long way to go before it catches up with the US Air Force.

Navy

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?
Chinese Navy

The most intense military competition between China and the United States is undoubtedly the Navy. If compared solely by the number of warships, the Chinese navy could be number one soon in the world.” As far as submarines are concerned, China has more submarines than the United States. But if we look at tonnage and performance, the US Navy is truly number one in the world.

In terms of total tonnage, the Chinese Navy is only about one-third of the US Navy. Performance: the US Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers have all achieved full nuclearization, and their single-ship tonnage is far ahead.

Although China’s new warships have been put into production in recent years, and the 052D, 054, and 055 large drives and new aircraft carriers have been put into service, building a century-old navy is not an empty slogan. Compared with the US Navy, which has been exploring and running for many years, the Chinese Navy still has shortcomings in many areas.

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?

For example, the capability of long-distance naval warfare is the biggest flaw of the Chinese navy at present. Although China has a three-carrier lineup, the formation of aircraft carrier combat capabilities still requires a long running-in period.

At the same time, the United States has overseas military bases all over the world, which facilitates ocean operations. Coupled with a complete system and a large number of auxiliary ships, the US Navy truly has global combat capabilities. Of course, while recognizing the gap, we cannot underestimate China.

Although the US Navy is still number one in the world, problems such as the decline of the shipbuilding industry, the aging of warships, and the uneven military quality of its personnel have become very serious. While China’s shipbuilding industry ranks first in the world, the navy is booming, and they are already at the forefront of the world in many detailed areas of warship R&D and application. Given time, surpassing the US Navy is not an unreachable myth.

How Big is the Power Gap Between China and the United States?

Generally speaking, China’s military strength is still weaker than that of the United States at this stage. Considering the game between China and the United States, China can fully use two major advantages to carry out the targeted defense.

First, the US military is dispersed and takes care of both Europe and the Asia-Pacific. China only needs to concentrate on the Western Pacific. Second, the US continues to deindustrialize and has insufficient military development potential, but China can rely on the world’s largest industrial capabilities and strong war potential. Gradually compensate for the shortcomings, narrow the gap and come to the top.

Conclusion

In summary, although China’s military capabilities have significantly increased in recent times, the United States still holds a considerable edge in various aspects like technology, naval strength, and global military presence. However, China’s rapid development and strategic initiatives suggest that it may eventually narrow the power gap between both nations. Both countries play a crucial role in shaping global security, and it’s crucial to comprehend their strengths and weaknesses to maintain stability in the international arena.