News / Asia

Chinese Media Defend Military Budget Hike

Military delegates from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for a plenary meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, in Beijing, March 4, 2014.
Military delegates from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for a plenary meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, in Beijing, March 4, 2014.
VOA News
Chinese state media defended the double-digit increase in defense spending announced this week by Beijing, saying concerns over China's growing military strength are unnecessary.

China's Defense Budget – 2000 to presentChina's Defense Budget – 2000 to present
x
China's Defense Budget – 2000 to present
China's Defense Budget – 2000 to present
Premier Li Keqiang announced Wednesday that China will spend almost $132 billion on its military in 2014. That represents an increase of 12.2 percent - a rate of growth higher than in recent years.

The move drew statements of concern by some foreign analysts and calls for greater transparency from countries, including the United States and its ally Japan, which is involved in a territorial dispute with Beijing.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. continues to urge China "to use its military capabilities in a manner conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region." "We continue to carefully monitor China's military developments and to encourage China to exhibit greater transparency with respect to its capabilities and intentions," Psaki stated.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said China's lack of transparency is becoming an issue, not only for Tokyo, but also for the rest of the international community. "We would like to urge China to elevate the level of transparency of its defense policy by working together with the related countries, as well as with the international community," Suga said.

China's neighbors accuse it of using increasingly aggressive tactics, particularly at sea, where its claims overlap with several countries. Many have built greater security alliances with the U.S. in response.

In a commentary Thursday, China's People's Daily shot back, saying the real menace to regional stability is the "mounting assertiveness of South China Sea claimants emboldened by Washington's so-called re-balance to the Asia-Pacific."

The paper also blamed what it said was the resurgence of "Japanese radical nationalism."

The official Global Times, meanwhile, said China "has no intention of overturning current international security patterns," but is in the position of needing to "ensure its security independently."

The papers are not viewed as strict government statements, but their editorials generally reflect the opinion of the Chinese government.

Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, tells VOA part of the problem is what China means when it says it is protecting its own self-defense priorities. "The Chinese are sincere when they say that, but the problem is that China defines China's self-defense in a very expansive way. In a way, China's defense is other people's aggression," he said.

And analysts say when China's self-defense puts it at odds with one of its neighbors, the situation is worsened by its frequent refusal to use established rules of the international system to resolve the conflicts.

This is particularly the case with China's rejection of international mediation in a maritime dispute with the Philippines, and in its reluctance to come up with a South China Sea code of conduct with the ASEAN regional grouping.

Bonnie Glaser, a China scholar at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, says despite complaints from its neighbors, China does not appear to be getting the message.

"Regardless of the reaction of China's neighbors, the Chinese just seem to be increasingly nationalistic and determined to press forward with their own agenda. So it seems that China today is autistic power that is unable to put itself in the shoes of others and see how the rest of the region views them," Glaser stated.

The increase in defense spending may also be attributed to domestic politics. As Glaser notes, President Xi Jinping has been working hard to ensure the support of the military since becoming president last year.

Meanwhile in Washington, many are concerned about China's growing military strength and intentions, especially in the face of a leaner U.S. defense budget proposal for fiscal 2015.

But although at the current trajectory, China could eventually overtake the U.S. as the world's biggest military spender, analysts caution that this would not happen for decades.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs