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

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs