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 States Where Women Work for Free

Women earn less than men in all 50 states More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows Fight to Death Against IS

In wide-ranging interview, Fuad Masum describes new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs