Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • In Mid-June, 2020, World War 3 started trending on Twitter.

  • Again.

  • This time, it was because a border dispute in the Himalayas between Chinese and Indian

  • forces turned deadly, killing upwards of twenty people.

  • This is the first time since 1975 that the two countries have had a fatal conflict, and

  • the most serious skirmish since 1967.

  • Naturally, as the two nations are populous, militarily powerful, and have nuclear capabilities,

  • the world is biting its nails to see what happens next.

  • But assuming the whole thing doesn't end in diplomacy or a world-consuming mushroom

  • cloud, which country has what it takes to bring home a final victory?

  • Using a mix of historical precedents of the prior conflicts between the two countries

  • and our knowledge of their current military capabilities, we intend to find out exactly

  • whether China or India would win if the two nations went to war today.

  • After all, we're not just talking about dusty hypotheticals here.

  • Relations between India and China have been extremely strained since the Sino-Indian War

  • of 1962, which occurred over the same stretch of Himalayan Border that's causing conflicts

  • today.

  • India had granted the Dalai Lama asylum within their borders after the fallout of the 1959

  • Tibetan Uprising, already putting them in China's bad books, and with China's military

  • encroaching on the Line of Actual Controlthe demarcation line that separates Indian

  • and Chinese territory in the Himalayas – a military skirmish was practically inevitable.

  • The resulting conflict was short lived, lasting only one month and one day between October

  • and November of 1962.

  • The People's Liberation Army of China had a vast numerical superiority over India's

  • military forces, and India suffered significantly greater losses, with nearly double China's

  • deaths, many wounded, and over 3,000 captured.

  • This loss is partly chalked up to the fact that it's believed, according to some leaked

  • CIA documents, that India underestimated both China's military capabilities and their

  • willingness to escalate the conflict.

  • While India requested military assistance from the US in the form of 12 squadrons of

  • fighter jets, their pleas were rejected, and India instead turned to Moscow for assistance.

  • Ultimately, none of it did all that much good, as China claimed the Eastern Theatre up to

  • the Line of Actual Control before declaring a unilateral ceasefire.

  • India was left to lick its wounds, and tensions between the two counties have been high ever

  • since, with conflicts still breaking out well into the 1970s.

  • Both nations have ramped up militarisation around the Line of Actual Control as a show

  • of strength, and this has left both with very little room to manoeuvre.

  • In a sense, the Himalayan Border is a military powder keg, and lately, we've been seeing

  • the sparks.

  • While a past record of military supremacy definitely works in China's favour, the

  • Sino-Indian War was also 58 years ago, and failure is an excellent teacher.

  • India has been engaged in frequent conflicts since the Sino-Indian War, giving their combatants

  • invaluable battlefield experience.

  • India is widely believed to have won every conflict they engaged in post Sino-Indian

  • War, with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, which ended in a ceasefire.

  • China, comparatively, fought its last considerable conflict against Vietnamese forces in 1979.

  • Once again, experience won out here, as the Vietnamesewho'd recently honed their

  • skills in battle against the forces of the United Statesare largely considered to

  • have handed China's asses to them.

  • This is why the value of actual experience in war can never be overstated.

  • But, let's take a step back and look at what these two militaries have to offer in

  • terms of manpower, technology, training, and resources.

  • First: Soldiers, the bread and butter of any military.

  • Much like in the Sino-Indian War, China has numerical superioritythough in India's

  • defence, seeing as China is ranked as having the highest number of active military personnel

  • in the world at 2,035,000, China's military has numerical superiority over literally everyone.

  • With over 500,000 reserve personnel who could be easily called into action in a wartime

  • scenario, China is a force to be reckoned with.

  • India, however, isn't all that far behindwith 1,237,117 active personnel and an

  • impressive 960,000 reserve personnel, putting the differences between their totals in the

  • mere 100,000s.

  • But, here's the big twist: The numbers here only pertain to the Indian Army, which is

  • the ground force branch of Indian Armed Forces, whose total number of active personnel are

  • 1,444,500, second only to the PLA's total active personnel.

  • However, the overall numbers of reserve personnel for the Indian Armed Forces now dwarves China's

  • at an astonishing 2,100,000.

  • The Indian Navy boasts 67,252 active personnel and 55,000 reserves.

  • The Indian Air Force has 139,576 active personnel and 140,000 reserves.

  • In contrast to India's three-pronged system, the PLA consists of five branches: The Ground

  • Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Assault Force.

  • The Ground Force is the Chinese infantry and land-based operations, with 975,000 active

  • personnel.

  • The PLA Navy has 240,000 active personnel.

  • The Air Force has an even higher 398,000 active personnel.

  • The People's Liberation Army Rocket Forcealso known by the pretty funny acronym

  • PLARFis the branch of the military in charge of land-based ballistic and nuclear

  • armaments.

  • They have only 100,000 active personnel.

  • And finally, the Strategic Assault Force: This is the newest branch of the PLA, established

  • officially in 2015, dealing with extremely modern forms of warfare like space and cyber

  • operations.

  • This division is so new that we don't even have an exact number of active personnel,

  • but due to the specialisation of the job and the fact that the group is only five years

  • old, it's safe to assume that it's likely the smallest branch of the PLA.

  • However, we also have a far wider trend to consider here: The fact that China and India

  • are two of the most populous nations on earth, with populations of 1.393 billion and 1.353

  • billion, respectively, as of 2018.

  • In a situation of all-out war over their shared border, if both nations introduced conscription,

  • the numerical differences between their armies would ultimately be nebulous.

  • So, if neither army would have an extreme numerical edge in the case of another conflict,

  • let's zoom in and take a look at the average military service member in each infantry.

  • Specifically, their training, equipment, and weaponry.

  • Thankfully for India, they've grown to invest in more intensive military training over the

  • years, including joint-operations training with the British, US, Japanese, French, and

  • Australian militaries as their involvement in the UN deepened.

  • The Indian Military has also consistently invested in modernised primary assault rifle

  • systems for their troops, currently working with a mix of American SiG Sauer 716 assault

  • rifles and Indo-Russian AK-47 203, a modernisation of the famously reliable and hardy AK-47.

  • As of 2018, Indian infantry troops are fitted with SMPP ballistic armour even capable of

  • withstanding blasts from the steel-core rounds fired out of an AK-47.

  • All these factors add up to one formidable individual soldier.

  • China's infantry troops don't have quite the same thing going for them.

  • Modern Chinese military training has been criticised for years for its lack of useful

  • applications in real-life combat scenarios, meaning the average military skills of a Chinese

  • infantryman may leave something to be desired compared to their Indian counterparts.

  • They're formidable in the rifle department with the QBZ-95-1, a reliable Bullpup rifle

  • which performs best at long range.

  • However, despite China being one of the world's most prolific exporters of body armour, it

  • hasn't historically fitted its troops with that same standard of protection.

  • The PLA is notorious for its light loadout, often leaving soldiers ill-prepared for taking

  • fire, and giving the Indian infantry troops a huge comparative advantage.

  • However, this may change in the not-too-distant future.

  • According to a report from Global Times, China is investing heavily in updating and modernising

  • its training system, as well as planning on procuring 1.4 million units of high-quality

  • body armour for the PLA.

  • While this isn't currently a certainty, if these plans do go through, any advantages

  • the Indian army may have had on an individual soldier level would essentially evaporate,

  • leaving them dead even once again.

  • But these days war is far more complex than a large group of armed men running at each

  • other and fighting down to the last one standing.

  • In modern warfare, technology can give militaries the crucial edge they need to secure a victory

  • over the enemy.

  • Since 2008, China and India have ranked second and third, respectively, in global military

  • spending, but the gap between them is still pretty immense.

  • Last year, China spent an astonishing $261 billion on military development, compared

  • to India's far smaller $71.1 billion.

  • This disparity becomes a little more natural when you realise that China's economy is

  • five times the size of India's.

  • Let's take a look at how these numbers actually translate into vehicles for their armies,

  • navies, and air forces.

  • While China is generally packing more hardware than India, one exception is in the world

  • of tanks, where India's over 4,200 stands at over a thousand units greater than China's

  • 3,200 plus tanks.

  • However, this doesn't paint the whole picture of China's ground capabilities.

  • If we're looking at the number of armoured ground vehicles overall, China's 33,000

  • dwarves India's 8,600, giving them considerable ground superiority, bolstered by the fact

  • that they have ten times more rocket projectors than their Indian counterparts.

  • China also holds dominance over the skieswith 3,210 aircraft compared to India's

  • 2,123.

  • It also has approximately double the Fighter and Interceptor jets, and 507 workable airports

  • compared to India's 346.

  • Once again, sadly for India, this trend continues into the country's navies.

  • In terms of total naval assets, China outnumbers India by 777 to 285.

  • More specifically, it has 74 submarines to India's 16, and 36 Destroyers to India's

  • 11.

  • If wars were decided on equipment alone, it's unquestionable that China would take the win

  • here.

  • Of course, while nobody on earth wants the conflict to escalate to this point for the

  • sake of all human life, we'd be remiss not to return to the fact that China and India

  • are both nuclear nations.

  • If the war ever did become an exchange of nuclear force, who would come out on top?

  • Well, for a number of reasons, China has a clear edge here.

  • Not only did they develop their nuclear capabilities just over a decade earlier than India in 1964

  • New Delhi wouldn't have its first nuke until 1975 – but their nuclear arsenal is

  • also over double the size of India's, with a far quicker growth rate.

  • China has a stockpile of 320 nuclear warheads, having grown by 40 in the past year.

  • Compare this to India with only 150 nuclear warheads, which grew by a mere ten in the

  • past year.

  • Both nations can deploy these warheads via the nuclear triad of missiles, submarines,

  • and bombers, and thankfully for the human race, both have a “no first strikepolicy.

  • This means the warheads can only be used in retaliation to another nuclear attack, making

  • it less likely that either country would want to strike first.

  • Of course, if either did, all of us would ultimately lose from the resulting radioactive

  • firefight.

  • But, on sheer numbers, China takes the clear win with regard to nuclear capabilities.

  • One final factor worth considering is one that's rarely mentioned in a lot of abstract

  • military planning: Allies.

  • While it's easy to think of war purely in terms of enemies, your diplomatic and military

  • friends can also be a make-or-break factor in determining the outcome of a conflict.

  • While China would largely be working solo in a war against India with the exception

  • of perhaps Pakistan, a country with fraught relationships with India to say the least,

  • India itself has been building diplomatic relationships with a number of extremely valuable

  • allies.

  • These include the United States – a country with the highest military spending in the

  • worldwho, under President Trump, have gone cold on relations with China, while referring

  • to India as a “major defence partner.”

  • India has also developed strong diplomatic ties to Japan, France and Australia through

  • performing a number of joint military drills with all of them.

  • Having these various world powers behind them gives India a serious combat edge over China,

  • providing these allies came to India's side in their time of need.

  • While the US could be India's greatest ally in this speculative war, foreign policy under

  • President Trump has been known to be capricious and unreliable to other allies such as the

  • Kurdish forces in Syria in 2019, so there's really no way of telling for sure.

  • So, back to our big question: Who would win in a modern conflict between India and China?

  • Turns out, it's a lot more complex than you may have thought.

  • While a layman might assume that China's apparent numerical and monetary advantages

  • hand it an easy win, these advantages can be neutralised by India's stronger troops

  • who are better equipped, better trained, and more experiencedand its greater network

  • of powerful allies.

  • Then there's the strategic picture, as while the Indian Navy is smaller than the Chinese

  • Navy, India is itself situated on the jugular of Chinese trade- so to speak.

  • Chinese trade ships must pass through the Indian ocean to reach their destinations,

  • and while China may have a larger fleet, it is not very well equipped to conduct operations

  • far from its own shores.

  • With only two aircraft carriers with a capacity of about 24 aircraft between them- and one

  • not even being operational yet- any Chinese incursion into the Indian ocean to protect

  • its trade fleets would be disastrous, as the Chinese task force would be brutally pounded

  • by Indian air and naval power.

  • With China receiving the bulk of its oil from maritime trade routes, a protracted war between

  • the two nations would inevitably cripple the Chinese military and industry both.

  • India would simply have to fight defensively, as the terrain separating India and China

  • is extremely difficult and well suited to defensive warfare.

  • While the Chinese could crush any Indian incursion into China itself- and there'd be few strategic

  • targets to take close to the Indian border anyways- a war between the two nations would

  • inevitably see India the winner, as it slowly strangles Chinese trade to death.

  • Check outAmerican (USA) Vs Chinese SoldierHow Do They Compare | Military/Army Comparison

  • andRussia Vs United States (USA) – Who Would WinMilitary Comparison 2019”

  • for more compelling military analysis.

In Mid-June, 2020, World War 3 started trending on Twitter.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 india china indian military personnel war

India vs China – Who Would Win? Army/Military Comparison

  • 32 0
    Summer posted on 2020/08/31
Video vocabulary