PLA Daily: Those who hype China's defense expenditure have ulterior motives

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-03-17 16:53

BEIJING, March 17 (ChinaMil) -- Some western media and officials would always make carping comments on China's expenditure on national defense every year. There is no exception this year. Specifically, some Americans are especially "active", and apparently China's expenditure on national defense has become a "worry" for them.

Relevant comments made by the U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford are absolutely "representative".

The former professed that "China's military development threatens the U.S. security, and the U.S. military budget will be adjusted in order to respond to the increasingly big challenges posed by China and Russia."

The latter made an appeal that "the U.S. must speed up development of military science and technology in order to keep a favorable position in military might."

These comments are just so familiar to the ear. We can always hear such similar voice once the Chinese military has any slightest stir.

The United States' "habitual worry" of such kind, on the one hand, reflects its Cold War mentality that it is reluctant to let go of. Who says a country is bound to threaten you after it grows powerful? On the other hand, it reflects the U.S. military’s consistent intention of getting more military budget from the Congress by hyping the so-called "China Threat".

The time when the United States' hype of the so-called "China Threat" reaches its peak is often the time when the Congress considers the military budget, from which it is not difficult for us to see its motive.

In addition to consolidating its advantages of weapons and equipment in the traditional fields, the U.S. military has also accelerated development of laser weapons, electromagnetic guns, fighting robots, weapon systems for outer space and cyber warfare with the aim of "winning the next war".

When we look at the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), however, we can see that the PLA's weapons and equipment have been relatively backward for a long period time due to historical reasons, and have lagged behind the military powers in the world to some extent.

In terms of development of weapons and equipment, the PLA mostly depends on its own efforts, which undoubtedly consumes some military budget and human resources. It was not until early in the 21st century that the PLA began its process of modern equipment change, which is one of the reasons that China's expenditure on national defense has maintained a certain growth in recent years.

Aside from the above issues, the comparison of defense expenditure between the U.S. and China alone is really saying something. Last year, China's expenditure on national defense was only 24% of that of the United States.

The military budget of the U.S. in the fiscal year of 2017 is 582.7 billion U.S. dollars. Specifically, 71.4 billion U.S. dollars are used for technology research and development, and 102.5 billion U.S. dollars are used to purchase weapons. Its "huge" military expenditure still far exceeds those of other countries.

China's GDP ranks the second in the world today. However, its expenditure on national defense has accounted for about 1.33% on average of its GDP over the past ten years, a percentage which is not only far lower than that of the United States, but also lower than the world's average level of 2.6%.

Compared with the huge military expenditure of the United States, China's expenditure is far from being a threat. The same old hype of the so-called "China Threat" has not a leg to stand on at all.

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