Photo: World Affairs Board
CSIS: What does China really spend on its military?
A country’s defense spending represents the most direct way of measuring its potential military capability. In terms of gauging relative military strength, the size of defense budgets can be compared between countries over a set period of time. These comparisons are particularly insightful when tracing regional trends in military spending and identifying critical political events that have accelerated defense allocations. Defense budgets also serve to identify the importance of a country’s armed forces relative to other organs of the state. Therefore, it is necessary to consider not only gross defense spending but also the size of the defense budget relative to a government’s overall budget and a country’s gross domestic product (GDP). No matter how much a country spends on its military, however, it must still find ways to translate its potential capability for power into power itself.
Read more ....
WNU Editor: A must read for China watchers. I can also provide some perspective on this debate. 30 years ago I lived in China, and I saw what the Chinese military looked like. Sandals instead of boots. Ragged uniforms. Poor knock-offs of Russian weapons. Low morale. And soldiers that always looked skinny and hungry. Today .... a completely different military. Hmmmm .... I can only imagine what another 30 years will bring.