Photo: World Affairs Board
Salvatore Babones, National Interest: China Can't Afford to Keep Challenging America on Military Spending
A more modest Chinese military footprint will likely emerge in 2017 or 2018.
China's Budget Starts to Bite
China plans a 7 percent boost to military spending in 2017. Even that may be more than it can afford.
On Saturday, China announced a 2017 spending growth target of 7 percent in nominal yuan terms. That represents a real yuan increase of less than 5 percent. Or, assuming that the People’s Liberation Army buys its tanks wholesale, applying China’s current producer price inflation index of 6.9 percent leaves no growth at all.
In 2016, China’s official military spending rose 7.6 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s barely 5 percent. In U.S. dollar terms, it’s barely 3 percent. In real U.S. dollar terms, adjusted for inflation, it’s hardly any increase at all. Put simply, China’s defense spending is essentially flat.
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WNU Editor: Their finances are getting squeezed .... but a 7% boost in military spending is still huge.