The People's Liberation Army (PLA), with its 2.25 million active troops, is currently the largest military in the world. The PLA consists of an army, navy, air force, and strategic nuclear force. The official budget of the PLA for 2005 is $30 billion, possibly excluding foreign weapons purchases, military research and development, and the People's Armed Police, a paramilitary force.
The PRC, despite possession of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, is widely seen by military researchers both within and outside of China as having only limited power projection capability, so it is not yet considered to be a true superpower, though it is widely regarded as a major regional power. This is due to the limited effectiveness of its navy, which has no aircraft carriers, and a large but obsolete air force.
Much progress has been made in the last decade and the PRC continues to make efforts to modernize its military. It has purchased state-of-the-art fighter jets from Russia, such as the Su-30s, and has also produced its own modern fighters, specifically the Chinese J-10s and the J-11s. It has also acquired and improved upon the Russian S-300 Surface-to-Air missile systems, which are considered to be among the best aircraft-intercepting systems in the world. The PRC's armoured and rapid-reaction forces have been updated with enhanced electronics and targeting capabilities. In recent years, much attention has been focused on building a navy with blue-water capability.
For more details on China's national security, see the following topics: