China’s government has been relatively vocal in transforming itself into a serious threat against the West — by modernizing its military in anticipation of future wars with Washington. It it therefore not surprising when the official Xinhua news agency reports that China will increase its defense budget by 8.1 percent in 2018, up marginally from last year’s 7 percent.
China has undoubtedly given America’s military-industrial complex and clueless politicians in Washington a stern message, by increasing its defense budget to the highest levels in more than three years, even as the country insists it does not mean harm.
According to the annual budget report, submitted to the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress Monday, the 2018 defense budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan (approximately 175 billion U.S. dollars). In 2017, the country spent roughly 1.02 trillion yuan (approximately 161.87 billion dollars) on its military budget in 2017, or about 1.3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
The United States is the only country that outpaces China in defense spending, with the Pentagon’s expenditures exceeding four times Beijing’s, according to the latest report of the 2018 Military Budgets via the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
In a speech at an annual Meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang suggested the country faced “profound changes in the national security environment,” requiring a stronger military.
As we stated before the conference, geopolitical strategists are concerned about President Xi Jinping aggressive military buildup and power grab, which has put Beijing on a crash course for military conflict with Washington.
“In the Asia-Pacific, the dominant role of the United States in a political and military sense will have to be readjusted,” said Cui Liru, former president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank under the Ministry of State Security that often reflects official thinking. “It doesn’t mean U.S. interests must be sacrificed. But if the U.S. insists on a dominant role forever, that’s a problem.”
“China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defense-technological progress mean that it has become a global defense innovator,” says Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
“[While] a great power war is not inevitable, states are systematically preparing for the possibility of conflict,” he said, adding that China’s “land and naval forces are modernizing and progress in defense aerospace remains remarkable.”
Following Trump’s initiation of a trade war, China is preparing to retaliate to Trump’s proposed new tariffs. Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio said Monday that a trade war is avoidable, but “tit-for-tat escalations” could be harmful to the global economy.
“It seems to me that good deals are to be had for both countries, while a trade war has the risk of tit-for-tat escalations that could have very harmful trade and capital flow implications for both countries and for the world,” Dalio wrote in a LinkedIn blog titled “A US-China Trade War Would Be a Tragedy.”
Nevertheless, perhaps now we understand why China is modernizing its military, because after trade wars comes hot wars…
Full article: China Reveals Largest Defense Budget In Three Years (ZeroHedge)