BEIJING, Dec. 14 (ChinaMil) -- China's national defense expenditure in 2016 totaled 954.354 billion Yuan, an increase of only 7.6 percent, according to the official report issued during the two sessions (the National People's Congress and the Chinese Political Consultative Conference) this year. This is the first single-digit growth rate of China's military expenditure since 2010.
However, the 2016 IHS Jane’s Defense Budgets Report released on December 12 estimated that "China’s defense budget will almost double within 10 years -- from $123 billion in 2010 to $233 billion in 2020. By 2020, China’s defense budget will be about four times bigger than the UK’s and more than the entire Western European regional defense spend combined. By 2025, China is expected to outspend all other states in APAC combined."
The report also listed the defense expenditures of various countries in 2015 and 2016. The top three remain unchanged for two consecutive years, namely the US, China and the United Kingdom in succession.
The report also pointed out that China’s national defense amounted to $191.7 billion (approx. 1.3227 trillion Yuan) in 2016, $1.1 billion higher than that in 2015. The US’ national defense spending totaled $622 billion in 2016, $6.3 billion higher than that in 2015.
Top ten countries in terms of defense spending in 2015 and 2016 (unit: million US dollars)
The report claimed that "between 2011 and 2015, the key states surrounding the South China Sea spent $166 billion on the procurement of defense equipment. Between 2016 and 2020 that number is expected to increase to $250 billion, with priorities shifting towards air and naval capabilities."
"A key trend in APAC is the shift from a traditional focus on territorial defense towards power projection,” said Craig Caffrey, principal analyst, IHS Jane’s.
"This is new for the region and is likely to increase military-to-military contact between states. Rising defense spending could therefore be indirectly responsible for increased tension within the region which in turn could spur faster budget growth ,” said Craig Caffrey.
The global defense spending in 2016 reached $1.57 trillion. "Defense spending returned to a healthy rate of growth in 2016, kicking off what we expect to be a decade of stronger global defense spending,” said Fenella McGerty, principal analyst, IHS Jane’s. “Defense spending should recover to pre-financial crisis levels by 2018.”
According to guancha.cn, China's military budget has maintained double-digit growth rates since 2001. The national defense spending in 2016 was 954.354 billion Yuan, an increase of only 7.6 percent, the lowest in the past nearly six years, and also the first single-digit growth rate of China's military expenditure since 2010.
This June, Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the Joint Staff Department under China's Central Military Commission (CMC), said while introducing Chinese military: "China's military has a wide gap with the advanced militaries in the world. Our military spending per capita is only a little more than 60,000 US dollars, far lower than the levels of $20-30 million per capita of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Japan." "Currently the Chinese military is carrying out a holistic and revolutionary change, and disarmament of 300,000, " Sun added.