China is already the world’s most populated country and it is fast becoming the world’s biggest economy. It is only a matter of time before it has the world’s most powerful army too.

China's Military Might

A soldier crawls forwards during a regular examinations in Nanjing. Leo Lang/REUTERS

China's Military Might

A soldier practises shooting during a training session at a military base in north China's Tianjin municipality. Ge Gong/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Honour guards from the navy, land, and air force dress in the latest uniform and salute in formation in Beijing. Reuters Stringer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

PLA tanks take part in a training session at an army base in Shanxi province. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

A paramilitary policeman jumps through a ring of fire during a training session at a military base in Suining. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary police train with plastic daggers at a military base in Suining. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

A People's Liberation Army Air Force cadet rides a bicycle past old MiG-15 fighter jets on display at the China Aviation Museum on the outskirts of Beijing. David Gray/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Visitors to the China Aviation Museum on the outskirts of Beijing, look at an old People's Liberation Army Air Force F-6B fighter jet on display. David Gray/REUTERS

China's Military Might

A visitor to the China Aviation Museum located on the outskirts of Beijing, takes a photograph of a row of old anti-aircraft guns on display. David Gray/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Recruits from the People's Liberation Army hold their hats as they salute in formation during a training session at a military base in Yinchuan. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary policemen rappel down a building as they take part in an anti-terrorism drill in Shanghai. China Daily Information Corp - CDIC/REUTERS

China's Military Might

China's first aircraft carrier is seen at its shipyard at Dalian Port in northeast China's Liaoning province. Reuters TV/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese air force soldiers train in a military base in the Chinese city of Jinan.. Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese marines go through routine training at an undisclosed military camp in Guangdong province, southern China, in late July, 2001.
Minister of Defence Chi Haotian marked the 74th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by repeating China's threat to use force against Taiwan if it sought independence, the People's Daily reported
August 1, 2001. Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Local man walks past Chinese armoured personnel carrier as it patrols streets of Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, in China. David Gray/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Russian and Chinese soldiers attend a training session for the upcoming joint anti-terror military drill in Taonan. China Daily Information Corp - CDIC/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Military vehicle carrying anti-ship missiles drives towards Tiananmen Square ahead of rehearsal for 60th anniversary of founding of People's Republic of China in Beijing. Jason Lee/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Women soldiers from People's Liberation Army march at an airbase in Hong Kong. Bobby Yip/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary policemen attend a training session in Yinchuan. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary policemen who will fire the gun salute during the National Day parade take part in a training session at a military base on the outskirts of Beijing. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Cadets listen to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at PLA military academy in Beijing. Larry Downing/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese visitors pass by a Chinese-made HQ-2 missile display at the Beijing Military museum July 24, 2002. China accused Taiwan leader Chen
Shui-bian on Tuesday of risking war by threatening to seek independence and damaging hopes of a peaceful solution to a ferocious 50-year-old quarrel. Guang Niu/REUTERS

China's Military Might

A Chinese marine goes through routine training at an undisclosed military camp in Guangdong province, southern China, late July, 2001.
Minister of Defence Chi Haotian marked the 74th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by repeating China's threat to use force against Taiwan if it sought independence, the People's Daily reported
August 1, 2001. Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese warship fires missiles during a China-Russia joint military exercise off China's Shandong Peninsula. A Chinese warship fires missiles during a China-Russia joint military exercise off China's Shandong Peninsula August 23, 2005. China and Russia started the third phase of the Peace Mission 2005 joint military exercise on Tuesday. The exercise runs for eight days and involves nearly 10,000 military personnel from the two countries. Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese amphibian armoured vehicles take part in China-Russia joint military exercise in eastern China's Shandong peninsula. Chinese amphibian armoured vehicles take part in a China-Russia joint military exercise in eastern China's Shandong peninsula, August 24, 2005. China and Russia started the third phase of the Peace Mission 2005 joint military exercise on Tuesday. The exercise runs for eight days and involves nearly 10,000 military personnel from the two countries. Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese amphibian armoured vehicles take part in China-Russia joint military exercise in eastern China's Shandong peninsula. Chinese amphibian armoured vehicles take part in a China-Russia joint military exercise in eastern China's Shandong peninsula, August 24, 2005. China and Russia started the third phase of the Peace Mission 2005 joint military exercise on Tuesday. The exercise runs for eight days and involves nearly 10,000 military personnel from the two countries. Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary policemen take part in an anti-terrorism drill at a military base in Yinchuan. Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Helicopters accompany the Chinese Jiangwei II naval frigate Mianyang during an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao. Guang Niu/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese fighter jets take part in an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao, Shandong province. Guang Niu/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese Navy submarine takes part in an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao. POOL New/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese soldiers take an oath in front of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flag in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, June 29, 2005. The soldiers vow to be loyal to the country and its people during the ceremony, which is part of activities to celebrate the upcoming 84th anniversary of the founding of the CCP. China Daily Information Corp - CDIC/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Soldiers from Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Crops, Air Force Aviation and Airborne Corps stand at attention during training session at 60th National Day Parade Village on outskirts of Beijing. Joe Chan/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary policemen hold a Chinese national flag during a parade training session at a military base on the outskirts of Beijing. China Daily China Daily Information Corp - CDIC/REUTERS

China's Military Might

PLA tanks rumble pass Tiananmen Square in a parade in Beijing. Nir Elias/REUTERS

China's Military Might

A People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier is seen in front of a rocket launcher during a massive parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in Beijing. Nir Elias/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Missiles are displayed in a parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing. Jason Lee/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Paramilitary policemen take part in an unarmed combat demonstration at a military base in Hefei. Jianan Yu/REUTERS

China's Military Might

An aircraft that is reported to be a Chinese stealth fighter is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan province. KYODO Kyodo/REUTERS

China's Military Might

Chinese Navy submarines and warships take part in an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao. POOL New/REUTERS