A New Global Arms Race

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Caption: An S-300 PMU-1 antiaircraft missile is launched during a military exercise. (Costas Metaxakis/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The world is becoming more dangerous than ever before. That’s the type of statement you may read in the newspaper or hear a presidential candidate say. But how to do you prove that it is true? One trend that gives us a good indication is military spending.

In 2011, the world was spending more on its military than in all of history. We have remained around that historic peak in the years since, although military expenditures have shrunk slightly each year. The world is still spending more than during the Cold War, World War ii or any other time.

The reason this indicates the danger in today’s world is not just as simple as saying, the more money spent on weapons, the more dangerous the world is. It matters who’s spending on it. And when you look at those facts, the picture is even more disturbing.

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China’s Big Currency Strategy

China’s growing success in internationalizing the RMB has both political and economic implications.

A Bank of International Settlements survey released on September 5 reveals that the renminbi (RMB) is now among the 10 most actively traded currencies in the world. This comes on the back of China’s recent draft plans to allow full convertibility of the RMB within the newly approved Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Both events are intricately linked and are linked to deeper plans by the Chinese government to both internationalize the RMB and consolidate its influence and standing in global financial markets. This suggests that China’s global integration is no longer limited to trade, but is fast spilling over into the realm of finance. Continue reading

China’s Military Preparing for ‘People’s War’ in Cyberspace, Space

China’s military is preparing for war in cyberspace involving space attacks on satellites and the use of both military and civilian personnel for a digital “people’s war,” according to an internal Chinese defense report.

“As cyber technology continues to develop, cyber warfare has quietly begun,” the report concludes, noting that the ability to wage cyber war in space is vital for China’s military modernization. Continue reading

China submarines to soon carry nukes, draft U.S. report says

China in the meantime remains “the most threatening” power in cyberspace and presents the largest challenge to U.S. supply chain integrity, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in a draft of its 2012 report to the U.S. Congress.

Beijing is “on the cusp of attaining a credible nuclear triad of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and air-dropped nuclear bombs,” the report says. Continue reading