Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Military spending in China

Jane's has been around for over 100 years and it's regarded as one of the most authoritative sources for information about military spending and weapons. But even Jane's has to rely on information and sources from less than transparent systems like China's. So, we have to take the following information with "a grain of salt."

China to Ramp Up Military Spending
China already spends more on its military than any country in the world except the United States. Now, as defense budgets at the Pentagon and in many NATO countries shrink, China’s People’s Liberation Army is gearing up for a surge in new funding, according to a new report.

PLA sailors on a new aircraft carrier
China will spend $148 billion on its military this year, up from $139.2 billion in 2013, according to IHS Jane’s, a defense industry consulting and analysis company. The United States spends far more – a forecast $574.9 billion this year…

The surge in weapons spending by Beijing – military outlays this year are set to be a third higher than in 2009 – has come in tandem with an escalation in tensions with its neighbors over longstanding territorial disputes…

Yet the Chinese military – controlled by the ruling Communist Party, not the government – has been plagued by corruption scandals that may sap its fighting effectiveness… Last month the Chinese magazine Caixin detailed allegations about the extravagant lifestyle of Lt. Gen. Gu Junshan, a deputy head of the People’s Liberation Army’s General Logistics Department. Among the items confiscated from his villa complex were a gold washbasin and a gold statue of Mao Zedong, Caixin reported. General Gu also allegedly owned 10 homes in central Beijing, where apartment prices regularly top $1 million…

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