There is no doubt that China is a world power to be reckoned with but to be considered a true force, China also needs to be able to back up its economic and political might with a top notch military. Today’s infographic compares the armed forces of China with the United States.
The above edited excerpts, as well as what follows, comes from an introduction* by visualcapitalist.com to an infographic** by scmp.com originally entitled Dollar No More which was first posted HERE.
In terms of military spending per capita, China is the new kid on the block. Although it has increased in recent years, China is still behind Russia, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. However, the country does make up for it with in absolute terms by its sheer population. In terms of total military expenditures, China spends the second most worldwide with a total of approximately $216 billion per year, which is about one-third of the US.
In GDP terms, China spends about 2.1% of its annual GDP on military, and the United States spends 3.8%.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two superpowers is influence in other parts of the world. The United States has 133 military bases outside of its territory, and China has zero. More specifically, the United States has bases in multiple jurisdictions that surround China: South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Singapore, Guam, Afghanistan, and Diego Garcia, a set of small islands in Indian Ocean.