How Xi Jinping’s Military Stacks Up Against Donald Trump’s

While Donald Trump is striving to reach some common ground with China, the country’s military has been ramping up in recent years, causing it to be a greater threat to the U.S. Read on for a closer look at how Xi Jinping‘s military stacks up to Trump’s.

1. The Chinese military is growing

Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force

With their population it’s no surprise. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

In recent years more than ever, the Chinese military is growing. It’s focused more on managing its rank-and-file, which, Newsweek notes, could one day pose a larger risk to U.S. interests in Asia.

“The range and capabilities of Chinese air and sea defenses have continued to grow, making U.S. forward-basing more vulnerable and the direct defense of U.S. interests in the region potentially more costly,” says a 2017 October report by the RAND Corporation, a California-based think tank that does research and analysis on behalf of the U.S. military.

Next: China’s military is now overseas. 

2. China just opened its first overseas military base

Chinese soldiers on a ship

They’re creating more ballistic missiles. | Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

China also recently opened its first overseas military base in October. The base is located in Djibouti, a small African country. According to Newsweek, China also currently has more ballistic missiles for nuclear missions than ever before.

Next: China’s spending more on their military in recent years. 

3. They’re increasing their military spending

Chinese military aircraft carrier Liaoning

They have ramped up their spending. | Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. has always spent more on their military than China, but China’s started to up its spending. From 2005 – 20014, Beijing grew its military budget by an average of 9.5 percent each year. They spent their money on modern fighter aircrafts and quieter submarines, among other things.

Next: China has a much bigger population. 

4. China greatly outnumbers the U.S.

No surprise, China has more soldiers. | China Photos/Getty Images

Though the U.S. spends more on their military, China’s population hugely outnumbers the U.S. population.

“China counts more than 2.3 million active service members, and another 1.1 million in reserves and military police, or the largest ground force in the world. That’s down from more than 3 million in active service in 1992,” reports Newsweek. “The U.S. has about 1.4 million active service members.”

Next: The U.S. has had more practice. 

5. The U.S. is used to fighting wars

The U.S. has been involved in many large-scale wars. | Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/GettyImages

The U.S. has been involved in wars for decades without stopping. China, on the other had, hasn’t participated in a large-scale war since 1979 (Vietnam). Additionally, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, China doesn’t have military allies to back up its ambitions.

Next: The U.S. has more vessels and jets. 

6. The U.S. has the bigger navy

Navy aircraft carrier

The U.S. Navy is much bigger. | DigtialStorm/iStock/Getty Images

Between the two, the U.S. has the far bigger navy. The U.S. has 500 vessels and China has 300 warships. The U.S. also beats China when it comes to their air forces as well. The U.S. has 2,800 jets, while China has 1,500. The two countries are ranked first and second in the world for jet fighter fleets.

Next: Neither countries are expected to actually use their nuclear weapons.  

7. China’s not likely to use nuclear weapons

Minutemen Missile

Conflict likely won’t be nuclear. | Spencer/Wikimedia Commons

According to the RAND Corporation report mention previously, China (as well as the U.S.) isn’t likely to use nuclear weapons. “Neither the United States nor China is likely to employ nuclear weapons, but even an initially localized conflict could quickly spread into the economic, cyber, and space realms, doing considerable damage to both sides,” reads the report.

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