U.S. Analysts Dismiss China’s Military Report

U.S. Analysts Dismiss China’s Military Report

China this week revealed new details about the size of its military in a report that U.S.-based analysts largely dismissed for its omissions on defense spending, weapons systems and strategic ambitions.

The document, posted April 16 on People’s Daily Online, the English-version website of the state-run newspaper, for the first time included a headcount of People’s Liberation Army by service. There are 850,000 troops in the army, 235,000 in the navy and 398,000 in the air force, it states, for a total of 1.48 million.

The report, “The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces,” didn’t include a similar tally for the PLA’s Second Artillery Force, the more secretive unit that oversees nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, or its civilian workforce. China has previously said its military has 2.3 million members.


“These are basically a few meager bones they’re throwing our way,” Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, said of the manpower numbers. “There’s almost no really serious issue on PLA defense that this paper deals with adequately.”

The report, which is published about every two years, lacks basic information about China’s defense budget, developmental weapons programs such as the J-20 stealth fighter jet and reasoning for maritime expansion, Cronin said. The Defense Department in a 2012 report estimated China’s annual military-related expenditures at $120 billion to $180 billion.

“China prefers to gain leverage and power by ensuring that there is a degree of deception and lack of transparency,” Cronin said. Hopefully, upcoming discussions between Chinese and U.S. military officials will yield deeper insights, he said.

U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on April 19 left for a weeklong trip to Asia. While he plans to visit South Korea and Japan, he will spend most of his time in China, meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Fang Fenghui, and possibly President Xi Jinping.

Topics likely to be discussed include China’s alliance with North Korea, which has recently threatened nuclear attacks against South Korea and its allies, as well as the U.S. strategic shift away from the ground wars of the past decade and toward threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

China’s military report references the changing U.S. posture with concern. “Some country has strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanded its military presence in the region, and frequently makes the situation there tenser,” it states, in a not-so-subtle reference to the U.S.

The tone of the document isn’t as optimistic as the previous one, according to Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The lack of information about military spending was “somewhat disappointing,” she said.

“It would have been more significant if they had released the budget for each of the services, not just the number of people in them,” she said. “We don’t know how they allocate money to each of the services, or for procurement or any of these issues.”

Arguably the most noteworthy part of the the report is a section that seems to indicate the Chinese air force has the responsibility over the army, navy and police force of providing territorial air defense, according to Roger Cliff, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington.

“It would suggest they’ve been able to break down the organizational walls, the bureaucratic barriers, that would start to truly enable joint operations, at least in the air defense, which has been a longstanding weakness of the PLA,” he said, though he cautioned, “I’m not sure if what they wrote is actually true.”

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Boo hoo. Poor baby didn’t get enough info. Try harder kiddo, much much harder.
China don’t need to reveal a damn thing to colonialists.

I don’t get it, who says China needs to reveal anything at all?

China is as large as it is through its own manifest destiny, kiddo.

They can say what they want. The analysis is for our internal consumption.

Bizorrow quote.…..It will not b harder to get more info, large disaffected portion of the pop. 2 draw upon.

The most troubling part of this kiss their arse foreign policy, WE have to depend (sic) on what they tell U.S? What about reserectin’ the cold war report on USSR. New title: Annual Report of the Military Capabilities & Advances of the Peoples Liberation Army, ohhhh darn I forgot.…..They (The PLA) published a 5 or 10 year plan: “Chinas’ Transition to Democracy”, so they can attract foreign invest. & legitamize the “front” companies recently tossed off numerous nations stock exchanges as outright theft. Can u believe it, they left out the most senistive part of it all. The PLA’s rapid & sustained progress in ballistic missle tech, anti-ship missle advances, both sub & supersonic & space warfare. All while their huge elint warfare, hacking & tech. theft act. cont. unabated exponetially.….ok everyone time 2 go back 2 sleep!

They Don’t have to but we and most every other nation does. Its yet another diplomatic way of showing whether you are building up a military arsenal. They are.

They also never told us about the massive missile complex for their nukes under the mountains to house a officially a few hundred nukes. Its probably at least into the thousands by now.

So do they have to? No. Ok Why should we then.

Get back to us when you work out why we do it.

Get back to me when you can do something besides whine bitch and moan about the US and its Evil intentions to rule the world. Or whatever it is you seem to hate about the US.

The personnel numbers are interesting if true. Not much else. Why governments release white papers is to show intentions to avoid miscalculations, at least that’s the theory. How true it is depends on how good your ISR is.…

We have as at least as many eyes on them as they do on us. Things do not have to be told to be known.

It does correctly show that maybe some of this fear mongering over the PRC is China’s deliberate lie over its own capability to scare other nations. possibly!

Dear Brother and Sister Warriors: I have 3 things to share:

No 1: History Point: “Do Not Get in A Land War in Asia;“
(Respectfully: Ex-USSR could not conquer Afghanistan(It is part of Asia);
Also respectfully, after the former USSR left Afghanistan, the U.S. soon departed.

This needs to be said.
Sometimes, it is helpful to contemplate another’s perception/point-of-view.

No 2: Could there not be some additional significant numbers in their Military/Naval Reserves?;

No 3: It is dangerous to either: over-estimate your opponent’s/your enemies’ abilities;
to (as is being done, here) under-estimate your opponent’s/your enemies’ abilities. Both “under” & “over” are very dangerous, just not for the same reasons.

Generally, only India has population numbers similar to China. .…

I do not suggest over-estimating their numbers–Just believe that applying extra Hubris could be very volatile, and may be ill-advised.

“All war is deception.“
— Sun Tzu

Kind of hard to be in the driver seat when we (our goverment) is not spending as much time on our foundation of the nation insted worrying what others think. Our nation was founded on “who gives a shiet about what everyone else thinks. They all wanted to be “OUR” friend not the other way around. Who was it that every nation turned to and begged to enter the fightduring all past wars..? That would be us. Where is our pride? We look like sissy’s to countries who used to be terrified of starting a fight with us. Days gone by NO Korea would have NEVER made such threats toward us. and on and on and on. .….….…..

HHow can we as a nation believe our analysts or trust them to keep us safe when they turned a blind eye & ear to all the info about 9/11?

Does anyone ever wonder about the building of a million nuclear droids and sending them to wipe out a whole nation? How would you stop it if it was coming for your own country? You couldn’t . True world peace does.

China has its own haters now bombing communist party headquarters ‚they need to worry about their own people and the unequal way they are treated.Now as they bully India and Japan and others in the area they make speeches about uniting and working in a diplomatic peaceful way,as long as its what China wants it will be peaceful.Nothing is for sure but changes something can happen today or tomorrow that will change all this .

Even if they are falsifying information (which I’m sure they are) we need to start planning as if those numbers are correct so if a conflict erupts we can be prepared to deal with it.

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