The Chinese government has revealed it will boost its military spending by 12.2% in 2014, the 4th year running spending has increased and well above the 7.5% GDP growth target for the year – calling the increase “moderate, and limited in scale” and saying it will help “make more contributions to world peace.”
In dollars the 2014 total now stands at some 132 billion. In 2013 China’s military spending “only” increased 10.7%, whilst in 2012 it increased 11.2% and in 2011 went up by 12.7%.
Just how accurate the figures are has long been open to question, given the state of China’s official statistics, its propensity for unreported spending and the vast business interests maintained by the military.
State media is careful to present the increases as necessary for such innocent purposes as “modernisation” and “peacekeeping operations,” although international attention has generally been focused on its antics in Japan’s disputed border territories.
A naval buildup is believed to be the main immediate priority for China, with its long public designs on Taiwan and more recent claims on the Senkaku islands increasingly being joined by calls for Okinawa’s “return” by more extreme military hawks.
Meanwhile Japan has announced spending increases to its pathetic military budget ($47.5 billion at present) of 0.8%, whilst Obama supposedly intends to at least cut the rate of growth of the USA’s gargantuan war machine, currently at a paltry $527 billion.