How India military stacks up vis-a-vis Chinese defence forces
The stand-off between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh region has created a tense situation at the international border. There have been efforts from both sides to defuse the tension but no breakthrough has been achieved so far.
Indications are that the situation might deteriorate further. So, it becomes important to compare the military might of the two countries. On paper, the Chinese military appears to be stronger than India. But in reality, Indian soldiers are better equipped to fight in extreme climates, according to an analysis published in HT’s sister publication Hindustan.
It is a well-known fact that China spends more on the defence sector. In 2019, it allocated $261 billion for the defence sector. In comparison, India spent a little over $71 billion.
China might have more weapons, but India is ahead in terms of number of soldiers. India has around 34 lakh soldiers whereas China has 27 lakh. The Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs in Harvard Kennedy School says that India’s Air Force is more powerful than China’s.
The Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi 30 that India have give Indian Air Force an edge over China’s J10, J11 and Su-27 fighter jets. India also has all-weather multirole aircraft, whereas only the J10 in China has this capability.
India also has more experience in fighting wars then China. It has fought many wars with Pakistan over the years and won all of them. China, on the other hand, fought the last war in Vietnam in 1979.
When it comes to high altitude warfare, India is better prepared than China here too. There are many aircraft in India which are capable of flying at high altitudes, whereas Chinese pilots have to fly with limited supplies and fuel due to difficult weather conditions in their airbases near Tibet.
Both India and China are nuclear powered countries. What makes this comparison interesting is that India keeps on participating in war exercises with other big countries like the US, France, the UK etc. The Americans can help Indians with intelligence inputs in case the situation deteriorates further. China, on the other hand, has been fighting many countries on too many fronts, the latest being on the spread of the coronavirus disease.