News / Asia

    Report: Asian Powers Beef up Military Spending

    Flight crew of a Z-9WZ attack helicopter, designed and manufactured by China, chat after a flight demonstration for press at a Chinese Liberation Army base, ahead of Army Day on Aug. 1, on the outskirts of Beijing, China Tuesday, July 24, 2012.Flight crew of a Z-9WZ attack helicopter, designed and manufactured by China, chat after a flight demonstration for press at a Chinese Liberation Army base, ahead of Army Day on Aug. 1, on the outskirts of Beijing, China Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
    x
    Flight crew of a Z-9WZ attack helicopter, designed and manufactured by China, chat after a flight demonstration for press at a Chinese Liberation Army base, ahead of Army Day on Aug. 1, on the outskirts of Beijing, China Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
    Flight crew of a Z-9WZ attack helicopter, designed and manufactured by China, chat after a flight demonstration for press at a Chinese Liberation Army base, ahead of Army Day on Aug. 1, on the outskirts of Beijing, China Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
    VOA News
    Security analysts say a new study on regional military spending indicates Asia's major powers, led by China, are getting serious about defense matters.

    The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies says defense spending in China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Taiwan has doubled in the past decade, reaching $224 billion last year.

    The trend contrasts with that of many Western countries, whose defense budgets have declined in recent years.  The CSIS study says Asia defense spending is projected to surpass Europe's military expenditures by the end of 2012.

    China leads the way in spending

    The increase was most dramatic in China, where military spending since 2000 quadrupled to $89.9 billion in 2011.  But the study said this number, based on official figures, may be low, noting some independent estimates put the figure as high as $140 billion.

    China, which surpassed Japan's military budget in 2005, now ranks second behind the United States in total defense spending.  But analysts say Beijing is not likely to catch up anytime soon with Washington, which spends more than $600 billion each year on its military.

    "[China is] putting together a very formidable military force, but I don't see them as having a superpower status as of yet," says David Fouse, a professor at the Hawaii-based Asia/Pacific Center for Security Studies.  "I think they're still looking at a very asymmetric defense relationship with the United States."

    China's rise playing a role

    China has defended its military buildup by saying that it is consistent with its rapidly emerging economy.  It also says its new military capabilities do not imply it will take a more aggressive posture in the region.

    But many of its neighbors seem to think otherwise, and have beefed up their defenses as they respond to what they see as China's increased assertiveness in defending its maritime claims.

    CSIS project director David Berteau acknowledges that "there's no question" that the rise of China is "partly responsible" for the increased military spending across Asia.

    Intentions not clear

    But Fouse cautions that defense spending by itself isn't a clear gauge of any country's intentions.  He says that territorial disputes throughout Asia have contributed to heightened military tensions.

    "I think that each of these countries have territorial issues that they have to deal with their neighbors and their spending on defense is related to those security concerns," he says.

    Cyber operations a concern

    Asian countries are also concerned about the growing threat of cyber warfare, says John Blaxland, a defense analyst at the Australian National University.

    "We know that cyber operations have been remarkably effective at drawing a wealth of data from otherwise confidential sources on various computer banks around the world, including in Australia and around the region," says Blaxland, who says many suspect Chinese involvement in the attacks.

    "A lot of governments are afraid to place too much emphasis on it publicly, because it's actually very hard to pinpoint exactly where it's coming from," says Blaxland," though most people have a pretty solid idea of where it's originating from.  Most of it's originating from China."

    Cold War arms race not likely

    The report said that the increased military spending in Asia likely means the United States will continue shifting its strategic focus toward the Asia-Pacific region.

    But project director Berteau told reporters at the report's launch that he does not anticipate a major arms race in the region, saying military spending increases do not approach those seen during the Cold War.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: riano baggy from: ina
    October 17, 2012 7:36 AM
    asia's countries to race to launch smart satellite for operated their unmanned airplane with laser weapons for defence or ready to strike,

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora