Given the "two standards" used by both armies, how are the chinese tanks compared to the russian tanks of equivalent "standard"?
type 96A vs T-72BA/B3 or T-80BV
type 99A vs T-90A or T-80U/UM/UE1/UD
And, do you think the T-72B obr 1988/89/90 tank (bog standard T-72B with K-1 ERA serving in great number in RU army) is superior to any chinese tanks : type 96 (early), 90, 85, 79 and other tanks inferior to the modern chinese 96A and 99A tanks?
Bit of info...
The 96A is the most numerous modern tank operated by PRC, and has a very powerful engine, a weapon system comparable to RU tanks, electronics seemingly superb, but has a very bad armour compared to a T-80B or T-72B, not even talking T-80U / T-90A. This tank is the latest evolution of... Basically the Type 59. Through type 69,79 then 85/90, but incorporates many design features of T-72. Still, the hull remains inspired by type 59 with driver on the left. For reminder, T-59 is just a pig iron T-54A, basically.
The 99A is the latest and most modern tank of PRC. Its origins greatly take the T-72 as a basis, and it is much bigger and heavier than the type 96A. Armour wise, this tank is better than the 96A, and probably comparable to the T-72B with K-1. Weapon-wise, it's the same than the 96A, so comparable to (probably) 125mm 2A46-M gun series, maybe not up to par with 2A46-M5. Electronic wise it's the top of the pop for china, and probably not behind any current tank of other nations. Propulsion is powerful, but it's less agile than 96A because of the weight.
Any other chinese tank that isn't an early variant of these tanks (equivalent roughly to T-72M or T-64A for both...) is an all RHA armour obsolete machine.
RU T-72BA and B3 are modernisation with many improvements in firecontrols and also in firepower (new gun, new autoloader, new ammo), also in ERA placement or type. Some T-72BA retained the K-1 era, but the T-72B3 upgrade is more deep and expensive, and turn the T-72 into a very good tank. T-72B armour is well known for being strong.
T-80BV are the main tanks of RU armored brigades and also training centers (still true in 2014?). This tank has less sophisticated electronics than T-72BA/B3, but it's still very correct. MAin problem is lack of thermal sights. Armour wise it's not extremely great, but, not bad. K-1 ERA coverage is good, but base armour is weaker than T-72B. Mobility is great (1000 ot 1250hp gas turbines), armament is good but cannot use most recent APFSDS due to autoloader cassetes.
T-80U is the main russian "top tank", basically it has good firecontrols, gun, (not sure about newest apfsds use), very good armour (more than T-72B) and ERA coverage (K-5), great mobility. Most lacks Thermals, but some of them were retrofitted, T-80UM, UA, and such, mostly small batches... T-80UE1 is a T-80BV with T-80UD turret and new electronics, basically a great tank. T-80UD is a diesel engine T-80U produced in kharkov, most are retired (are we sure?).
T-90A are the latest russian tanks, more and more common (up to 800 now?). It is superior to all russian tanks in service, much better armour, and electronics. Mobility and firepower are great, ability to use latest APFSDS of course, and 1000hp diesel engine.