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» » » » » » » » » China versus The Philippines: A Military Strength Comparison

JR Lopez Gonzales 4:19 PM 16

The Philippine government has proposed taking the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) issue to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, but the Chinese government has rejected this, insisting on bilateral discussions [1].

Now, taken into consideration the grave possibility that two countries fight past the current standoff, this blog made a comparative analysis of the Philippine Armed Forces’ capability vis-à-vis that of China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA).

My detailed tabular presentation was patterned after that of the GlobalFirePower website. (

                                                                        China                                      Philippines

Total Population                                  1,336,718,015 (#1)                  101,833,938 (#12)
Square Land Area                               9,596,961 km                          300,000 km
The Chinese Red Army.
The Philippine Army
Defense Budget                                  $100,000,000,000                 $2,439,510,000

Military Manpower Available             749,610,775                            50,649,196
Fit for Military Service                        618,588,627                            41,570,732
Reaching Military Age Yearly             19,538,534                              2,081,388
Active Military Personnel                    2,285,000                                120,000
Active Military Reserves                     800,000                                   130,000
Basic Military Salary [2]                      6,000 yuan (952.87 USD)      18,000 Pesos (422.94 USD)
Total Land-Based Weapons                  47,575                                     2,379
Towed Artillery                                    25,000                                     309
Infantry Vehicles                                 7,700                                       559

Tanks                                                9,200                                       126
Anti-Tank Guided Weapons             1250                                       400
Navy Ships                                       972                                          120
Anti-Aircraft Weapons                       750                                          200           
Multi-Launch Rocket System             2,600                                       0


Total Naval Units                                972                                          120
Merchant Marine Strength                  2,012                                       428
Major Ports and Terminals                 8                                              6
Major Serviceable Airports                 502                                          254
Aircraft Carriers                                  1                                              0
Destroyers [3]                                      55                                            1
Frigates [ibid.]                                      47                                            2
Submarines                                         63                                            0

Total Aircraft                                       5,176                                       289
Patrol Coastal Aircraft                        870                                          128
Fighter Planes                                     5,845                                       289

Attack Helicopters                              632                                          159
Mine Warfare Craft                             52                                            0

Amphibious Operations Craft             233                                          10

Foreign Reserves                               $2,876,000,000,000                $62,370,000,000
Purchasing Power                              $10,090,000,000,000              $351,400,000,000
Oil Production (in bbl*)                        4,273,000 bbl                          9,671 bbl
Oil Consumption                                 9,189,000 bbl                          307,200 bbl
Proven Oil Reserves                          20,350,000,000 bbl                 168,000,000 bbl
Total Labor Force                               815,300,000                            38,900,000

Roadway Coverage                            3,860,800 km                          213,151 km
Railway Coverage                              86,000 km                               995 km
Waterway Coverage                           110,000 km                             3,219 km
Coastline Coverage                            14,500 km                               36,289 km

*bbl = Barrel of Oil (1 bbl = 42 US Gallons or 159 litres)

The website GlobalFirePower notes that China has the world's largest army. It is ranked 3rd for overall global firepower while the Philippines ranked 23rd overall.

The Philippines’ sole destroyer named, “BRP Gregorio del Pilar” was a gift from the Americans in boosting our naval control. Unfortunately, it has no Harpoon anti-ship missiles, no surface to air missile capability, no anti-submarine warfare capability, or Phalanx electric Gatling gun.

One should also take note of China’s brawny submarines (composed of 53 conventional and 10 nuclear). According to GlobalFirePower website [4], “both the diesel-powered and nuclear-powered submarines used by China are clearly designed for more than protecting China’s coast”. The Chinese submarines could, in fact, pose a threat to American aircraft carriers.

In October 2006 a Chinese submarine “stalked” a U.S. aircraft carrier and approached within firing range without being detected. In January 2008, a Chinese submarine followed the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in the Taiwan Strait but was detected and monitored with antisubmarine aircraft. Analysts say that in the future China could be able to approach an aircraft carrier and possibly sink it with a missile.

Although in comparison to the US, China is a relatively small player in the weapons export business, selling about $380 million of weapons a year, compared to $7 billion by the United States. Apparently, the Chinese Navy is relatively weak compared to the United States. It has one aircraft carrier, compared to 24 out of the world’s 36 possessed by the United States, and has 263,064 tons of naval vessels compared to 2.86 million tons possessed by the United States (the world’s total is 4.04 million tons).

Obviously the Philippines Armed Forces has to be modeled after the Prussian-Germanic on Tanks, Russian for its choppers and US on the logistics-air force supply. Concerning reservists (that of Israel’s) and active duty (that of the French or the Yankees).Only through that kind of Philippine Armed Forces would Red China think twice.

To learn more on how we can be involved in the fight for our territories, you can visit
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[1] "China deploys gunboat". Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 20, 2012.



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16 comments China versus The Philippines: A Military Strength Comparison

  1. Unfortunately, this is REALITY. No matter what posturing or praying the Filipinos do, it is a sad fact that "beggars can not be choosers". Just accept this predicament (being a weak nation( and grin it. Life for humans or countries is not fair.

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  4. this basic information is not an excuse for the filipino not to go in a war..they are many in numbers...but did you know that 1 filipino is equivalent for 10 chinese?? see the facts......dont relay on numbers....they may have great war machineries... but did you ever think that filipino soldier will not use they brains??? I AM A FILIPINO....I WILL STAND FOR MY MOTHER LAND TO WHOM EVER WANTS TO INVADE MY MOTHER LAND....dont pull us down filipinos...we havent started the war yet....

  5. Just remember the Vietnam War, USA with all her might never won the war... history will repeat itself, China will NOT win the war against Philippines because they will be fighting with greed and we defend with PASSION!

  6. Winning the War is not only about war machines but also espionage --- 'brains' and 'passion'... remember the Spartan's 300, Vietnam War... it was Sun Tzu himself in the Art of War who wrote "Winning the war is matter of deception"... The Chinese being oppressive communists won't have many dedicated soldiers, many of them will probably defect or turn against the government when the war comes, those who have grievance against the government or simply those who want democracy, they in times of war will turn against the government or won't use 100percent of their strength... in the other hand, Filipinos will fight 'till the last breath in the name of the motherland... With all these logics and reality of life - PHILIPPINES will undoubtedly win the WAR!!!!

  7. pilde ta ana pulpog pa gyud,,,, arang2x kung taiwan ang contra kay dako possibilidad mo daug ta

    1. hadlok ka sa ila....puta linti, diin na agod2x mo gamita to sa ila...abi ko pulahan ka, yot... talawit kaman gali...

  8. we have to fight what ever happens. we have to prove them that we pilipino people have a word of honor. fight for our rights. god bless us.

  9. China really dwarfs the Philippines in terms of numbers of soldiers and equipments, how sad really.

  10. " No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." - Gen.George Patton

    I guess we need to talk about economy first, then we can talk about strengthening our military capability and patriotism.

    1. That's a very nice quote there, Anonymous. I couldn't agree more with what you said.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! :-)

  11. how sad that our country is very vulnerable. and in addition that pork barrel scam that suppose to help our heroic soldiers improve or upgrade or own military bases I HOPE that the issue on PORK BARREL would be solved

  12. balis lng katapat nyan... un lng natatanging sandata ng pinoy...

  13. this article is inaccurate and not outdated, i don't even know if "outdated" is the right phrase.

    you stated that:

    "The website GlobalFirePower notes that China has the world's largest army. It is ranked 3rd for overall global firepower while the Philippines ranked 23rd overall."

    23rd is the ranked of the Philippines? I don't think so, you are gravely mistaken.

    Philippines did not even manage to reach the TOP 100 check it out.

    do you know the firepower of the Philippines compared to the other countries?

    Why don't you check this.

    i don't mean to be rude or offensive, I'm just stating facts.

    have a nice day sir!



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