SOURCE: Himansu Swain / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
China is one of among the few developed nations with massive armed force that shows off an ugly face to its neighbours. With trillions-dollar economy & Wholesome foreign reserve, China has made tremendous efforts to bolster & modernise it’s military in 21st century to counter US & western allies in Indo-pacific region. There are no matter concerns to china when it comes to expansionist mindset. During cold era, being an alley of US, China took the advantage of US blind game against Russia which not only helped her to draw investment from US but also strengthened its position in Asia.
China may have betrayed US, but it’s aim to stand up as a threat to US interest is somehow fulfilled. The Asian Dragon now-a-days is showing awkward attitude over Dokalam Pass Standoff threatening India with her military strength. In fact, starting from all Chinese news agencies to New paper like Global times which is a stooge of communist party of china adding fuel to this game with the war of words. Many of us get scared off to see China’s 2.3 million active military & 8 lakh in reserve with a view that it may inflict heavy losses to its rivals.
What you guyz think? Is that big….. Yes, it’s big when compared to India’s 1.6 million troops. But however, Number doesn’t matter during the war. Reminding Battle of Thermopylae, the valour of 300 Spartans that forced the entire Greek army to think twice before confronting them. I am not comparing the situation in 480 BC & 21st century. But there are some major factors which can enable a small army to win a battle against big army. So, there are many controversies & raises the question of if china’s military is as strong as it seems. Pointing out some major drawbacks that Chinese military facing are described below.
1. Weak Foundation
In a report for Congress’s bipartisan by US-China economic and security review Commission, it revealed that the PLA suffers from potentially serious weaknesses. these shortcomings could limit its ability to successfully conduct the information-centric integrated joint operations Chinese military strategists see as required to fight and win future Wars. Written by China experts at the RAND Corporation the report further states that knowing these vulnerabilities will be valuable to deter conflict or defeat China should war a rise against nation. Most of these institutional weaknesses include poor command structures, low quality personnel and corruption in the ranks that also involve top officials in the military and the government. However, one of the main problems that were caused by this structural weakness is China’s ability to conduct a joint military operation with other countries like the US. This is partly due to its problems integrating and advanced weaponries as well as conducting proper training for his personnel into perspective the People’s Liberation Army still conducts what is called long distance manoeuvre training and speeds that are determined about how fast the available cargo trained consent is tank and other arms Ford in a world where mobilizing your troops and transportations by air moving them by train is an integrated system that worked back in the First World War also try to make claim they have nuclear weapons but with its questionable ability to introduce a modern weapon systems, it is a bit scary that they can push that shiny red button anytime by accident or worse what’s scarier is that the report details that Chinese Armed Forces is quite vulnerable to cyberattacks that could disrupt its information eyes high-technology from its aircrafts to his missiles number.
2. Confusing Loyalties is a common knowledge or common sense in most countries around the world that their armed forces are sworn to loyalty to their governments regardless of the nation’s political affiliation war ideology is a different story with the Chinese military however. According to the US Congressional Research Service the People’s Liberation Army is not a national army belong to the state rather serves at the communist parties armed wing which brings confusion because who then is considered as the country’s official military top-ranking members of the PLA especially its generals are also members of the Communist Party. so, in a nutshell, it would be as if members of the Republican and Democratic parties have their own Armed Forces and from the very start of a PLA soldiers career as he is sworn to protect the Chinese communist Party in the ideology that is stands for not the Constitution of the land and not China or its people to say the least the PLA may be the world’s largest guerrilla army because of a political bias that the members of the Chinese Communist Party strictly enforces. Also, the PLA is missing one of the most important characteristics of an armed force joint command this is where members of the military Air Force, Navy and Marines can work together when needed as well as be able to know what the other branch is doing. In China, this is an important element missing in their structure while there have been claims from Chinese media and some government agencies that a joint command system is being established in its military. Other reports conflicted saying the opposite without having a clear joint command system. it would be difficult in times of war or conflict for any military to communicate with each of its branches and for a country with what’s to be the world’s largest standing army lack of communication can spell disaster.
3. Poorly Equipped Soldiers
Today the Pentagon says that it costs about $17500 dollars to encrypt a single soldier of the US Armed Forces this includes high-tech weapons, advanced gear body Armor and all other bells and whistles these guys mean serious business and they are dressed for the part in China however due to the corruption within the PLA ranks in the Communist Party their soldiers are not as fancy. According to reports a single soldier of the Chinese military, it’s allocated about $1500 dollar for his entire gear and almost half of that amount goes to just his gun and some of the equipment that did you have no longer even fit their new recruits even though China is now spending about 120 billion dollars a year on their military a large chunk of that spending goes to reconfiguring and modifying old war currently existing equipment that not only makes it on reliable for use but also dangerous to the poor soldier who has to use it to make matters even worse. Among the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council China reportedly has never even built their own aircraft carriers what they do have are the ones that were purchased from the Ukraine and refurbished and even that was almost immediately docked after launch due to engine failure.
4. Not Trained for Combat
Every year, it is reported that the Chinese military recruits over 6 million individuals or training well this may be a red flag to many nations, it would have been a lot more impressive and imposing if these recruits did not disappear after a month. According to an article by the diplomat, the mystery Warriors are just college freshmen first-year University students across China participating in their mandatory training before to start a class what’s even more interesting is the method in which these students are trained. The diplomat reports that these are compulsory lecture series in which students are introduced to national defence strategy in the latest in party doctrine the last part of the statement seems to be the main needs of military training in the PLA it appears to be the only solid foundation in which recruits to the army are groomed and China soldiers seem to be trained less to become soldiers and more on becoming educated to keep their loyalties to the Communist Party. Let it go and ideological indoctrination comes first and foremost before let’s say combat training work how to even use a rifle PLA recruits are strictly required to devote 20 to 30 percent of their training on political and ideological indoctrination studying party propaganda and revolutionary literature and a during induction training this requirement is raised to 40 percent of their time fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you would like to see as Chinese ground troops do not see a lot of action these days and the last conflict that they have been directly part of was unfortunately the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square
5. Low Recruiting Standards
Students wishing to join the PLA go through a rigorous physical and medical examination and what are to determine if they are fit for battle unfortunately and this is coming from the Army recruitment office of Beijing 60% of students and applicants failed the exam the problem according to them is that many of these students and applicants are well overweight, underweight, weak or have terrible eyesight it was because of these reasons among many others that the government decided to lower the bar for recruitment the standards were lowered in 2008 and then again in 2011 whatever the underlying reason is whether it should meet a recruitment quota or create the illusion that the PLA steadily grows a number . Every single year recruits that path the terribly low standards are poorly equipped and not entirely at their top physical test to be in combat. so, this is the one of the largest armed forces in the world might not be as intimidating as they seem while these newspaper propaganda are just a show off other than nothing.