China military spending is surging from the $139.2 billion it spent in 2013 to the $148 billion allotted in 2014.
And this “comes as defense budgets at the Pentagon and many NATO countries shrink.”
According to The New York Times, the U.S. still far outspends the Chinese at $574.9 billion. However, that number is decreasing, down nearly a hundred billion from the $664.3 spent in 2013.
China has made increased military spending a priority since 2009. In 2011, it premiered “China-made aircraft with radar-evading capabilities” and in 2012 “commissioned its first aircraft carrier.”
This build-up and these military advances come amid increased tensions between China and her neighbors over territorial disputes, as with China and Japan’s continued claims and counterclaims over islands in the East China Sea.
But some military analysts believe the Chinese military is not as dangerous or as strong as it looks: that what it has in funding, it lacks in cohesiveness and experience. Ian Easton, of Virgnia’s “Project 2049 Institute,” points out that some of the Chinese military’s “marquee projects, including the aircraft carrier, are plagued by technical problems.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins