Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
mains Test Series 2018
China Staggeringly ups its Defence Budget
Mar 08, 2014

On March 5 China announced a defence budget for 2014 that, at around $132 billion or 808.23 billion Yuan, is nearly $100 billion more that of India’s $36 billion. It’s sure to rattle the planners behind India’s armed forces’ budget and future military strategy that’s grappling with a crippling cash crunch and several stalled defence deals. China does not appear to have any such problems with Premier Li Keqiang announcing the 12.2% hike in the defence budget. It was more than last year’s 10.7% increase in the defence outlay.



The budget for the military was expected to rise with China now focusing on strengthening its naval power to ensure its superiority in South and East China Seas and also gradually make its presence felt in waters much beyond. It has a new Soviet-era aircraft carrier, Liaoning, in its fleet and is known to be building at least one more. Successfully operating the 60,000-tonne Liaoning was the first step before the deployment of locally built carriers by 2020. A stealth test fighter is also in the making. Not only defence, the government increased the budget for internal security by 6.1% to more than 205 billion Yuan.

The increase follows a nearly unbroken run of double-digit hikes in the Chinese defence budget, second only to the United States in size, for the past two decades. This is worrying news for China's neighbours, particularly for Japan.

The 2014 defence budget is the first for Xi, Jinping, and the increase in spending appears to reflect his desire to build what he calls a strong, rejuvenated China. Xi also recently urged China's military leadership to work faster to get the country's sole aircraft carrier combat-ready.

Immediately after the budgetannouncement, officials in Japan and Taiwan expressed disquiet over the absence of any details on how Beijing will spend the money. Japan, a key US ally in the region, are increasingly locking horns over uninhabited rocky islands each claims in the East China Sea with China.

According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry, China's military is not made up of boy scouts with spears. Some foreigners always expect China to be a baby scout. In that way, how can we safeguard national security and world peace?

China claims 90 percent of the 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan claim parts of those waters.

Speaking at the opening of China's annual session of parliament, Premier Li Keqiang said the government would strengthen research on national defence and the development of new and high-technology weapons and equipment and enhance border, coastal and air defences. We will comprehensively enhance the revolutionary nature of the Chinese armed forces, further modernize them and upgrade their performance, and continue to raise their deterrence and combat capabilities in the information age.

China's military spending has allowed it to create a modern force that is projecting power not only across the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas, but further into the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Much military spending likely takes place outside the budget, however, and many experts estimate real outlays are closer to $200 billion. The U.S. Defence Department's base budget for fiscal 2014 is $526.8 billion.

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 region.

Chinese fighters and surveillance planes now routinely patrol a controversial new air defense identification zone that covers disputed Japanese-administered islands in the East China Sea. Beijing's aircraft carrier, meanwhile, went on its first exercises in the South China Sea late last year.

At a time when USA has stepped up its military presence in the region as part of a strategic pivot toward Asia, China is building new submarines, surface ships and anti-ship ballistic missiles, and has tested emerging technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.

http://www.drishtiias.com/upsc-current-affairs-article-China-Staggeringly-ups-its-Defence-Budget