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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs