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People's Daily Online

Chinese experts denounce Indian media's self-claimed military advantage

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 17:08, August 07, 2017

Chinese military experts on Monday reiterated the country's military advantage over India after an Indian magazine issued a report insisting that the Indian Army would give China "a bloody nose" if war breaks out.

India Today, one of India's most circulated English-language magazines, issued an article on Aug. 5, in which it drew a comparison between the two countries military power, noting that China's military advantage over India is totally misplaced and hyperbole.

According to India Today, though China has about 2.26 million soldiers compared to India's 1.36 million, the former's numerical edge will be weakened if the reserve components of the army are also taken into account. The magazine cited statistics from Global Firepower – a website which tracks the military strength of more than 100 countries – noting that the Indian Army has about 2.84 million reserve soldiers, while Chinese PLA has about 1.45 million troops under reserve components.

"The report's statistics are misleading. Based on different sources, the statistics can be extremely different. For instance, according to data from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), China currently has 2.3 million soldiers and 510,000 troops under reserve components, while the same numbers for India are 1.3 million and 1.15 million, respectively. Based on this, China still possesses more troops than India in total," an anonymous military expert told the Global Times.

The expert also noted that numerical advantages alone cannot bring victory on the modern battlefield. Soldiers' personal competence and educational background play even more important role. Based on Indian government's own estimation, the country's illiteracy rate is around 20 to 30 percent, while the number in China is only 4 percent.

As for geostrategic circumstances and security concerns, the article noted that due to China's longer shared border, the country will suffer more pressure than India. Such remarks have also been denounced by Chinese experts, who noted that though India's frontline is shorter, its intense border tussles with Pakistan will reduce the number of troops that can deployed along the Sino-Indian border.

"The report claimed that India has more towed artillery and armored fighting vehicles than China, but such weaponry cannot reach their full potential once a war occurs between China and India, as most of the Sino-Indian border lies in highlands and mountain areas, which are not ideal battlefield conditions for such heavy military equipment," said the expert.

"If a war occurs, China's self-propelled and rocket artilleries will seize the advantage, becoming the sword of Damocles hovering over the head of Indian troops," he added.

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