Military capability: China vs Philippines

IN the on-going show of military force between China and the Philippines, particularly in the issue of Scarborough Shoal, even Filipinos are in accord that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the sure loser.

People would take pun at our karag-karag na naval ships and tora-tora planes.

Of course some of these descriptions are exaggerations.

But how exactly does the Philippines fare compared to China in terms of military might?

Good news first: the Philippines is twenty-third (23rd) in the ranking of (GFP), coming immediately next to North Korea, and ranking higher than Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Sweden and Spain.

GFP provides a unique analytical display of data covering global military powers with statistics compiled through various sources.

According to data from the Library of Congress and the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States as compiled by GFP as of 2011, China (CHN) has 2,285,000 active military compared to the Philippines’ (PHL) 120,000.

In terms of total land weapons, CHN-22,795, PHL- 2,379; total aircraft, CHN -4,092, PHL-289.

As regards naval power, China has 562 navy ships while the Philippines has 120.

In terms of submarines, CHN-55, PHL-0; Frigates, CHN-58, PHL-2; patrol craft, CHN-937; PHL-2; Mine warfare craft, CHN-391, PHL-0, and amphibious assault craft, CHN-544, PHL-10.

Based on reports, China is constructing its first aircraft carrier and two similar vessels.

The AFP, however, is unperturbed, saying that Beijing’s fast military expansion and growing assertiveness on territorial issues is merely part of the confidence building measures among navies of the world.

Obviously, the Philippines can by no means defeat China’s military strength in terms of military munitions and manpower.

The only strength that could work for it is diplomacy, including a reliance on friendly forces and the backing of international organizations, foremost of which is the United Nations.

At the moment, the government’s attitude is to abide by the Constitution and continue to treat all nations equally, to treat and respect all nations as good neighbors in the spirit of amity and cooperation.


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