The People’s Republic of China announced to raise its military budget for 2014 by 12.2% to $132 billion. The hike in defense spending would seek to develop more high-tech weapons and to beef up coastal and air defenses.
- It would also allow Beijing to create a modern force that will project power not only across the disputed waters of the East and SouthChinaSeas but also into the western Pacific and IndianOceans.
- Goal: To become a dominant military presence in the Pacific, with a navy able to project power across the region.
- This hike in defense spending would create tension among China’s neighbors viz. India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc.
- The budget spike comes as Asia reacts nervously to a string of recent moves by China to assert its sovereignty in disputed territory, expand its military reach and challenge the traditional dominance of U.S. forces in the Asia Pacific region.
- From India’s point of view, China’s defense spending is far higher than $36 billion allocated in last month’s interim budget that amounted to 10% hike.
Note: China’s military spending is the second largest in the world, behind that of the United States.