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Chinese infantryman’s combat kit equivalent to 2 iPhones

Chinese infantryman’s combat kit equivalent to 2 iPhones

Posted December. 11, 2014 08:20,   


Despite China’s ambitious drive to build up its military power, the total cost for equipping a Chinese infantryman for battlefield is equivalent to the value of two iPhone 6s in China, a Chinese newspaper reported recently. The Chinese military criticized the report for being an unprofessional analysis.

The Guangzhou-based reformist weekly Nanfang Zhoumo (Southern Weekly) carried an article on its Internet homepage that added up the average costs of equipping Chinese and U.S. infantrymen. According to the report, the most expensive item on the Chinese soldier’s kit list was the standard-issue automatic rifle, which is valued at 4,300 yuan (694 U.S. dollars), followed by the helmet at 1,580 yuan each (255 dollars). All of the other equipment was valued at less than 400 yuan (65 dollars) each, the report said.

The entire individual battlefield kit, including one portion of combat meal, was valued at 7,818 yuan (1,262 dollars), roughly equivalent to two iPhone 6s, the paper said.

The weekly reported that despite sharp increases in China’s military, individual equipment cost remained the same as what was five years ago. In contrast, the cost of the average U.S. soldier’s combat gear is equivalent to nearly 20 iPhone 6s, or 10 times larger than the cost of equipping a Chinese soldier.

The paper also criticized that although China successfully developed a safer and lighter non-metal helmet 20 years ago, only a small number of Chinese troops have been issued the equipment.

The Jiefangjun Bao, the organ of the People’s Liberation Army, on Monday criticized the report for lacking military “common sense,” calling the report “ignorant.” However, the military daily did not elaborate on the exact cost of the combat kit.