China to Increase Military Budget
China's 2015 defence budget will be increased by 10% over 2014. The decision was made despite a slowing Chinese economy. In 2014 the budget had increased by over 12% over 2013.
The total military budget will rise to $141.45 billion (886.9 billion yuan) which will still be a distant second to the US' more than $600 billion in military spending in 2013. The increase is caracterized as part of a drive to modernize, rather than preparations for a power-grab in the region. "China has a tougher road to travel than other large nations in terms of national defense modernization. We can only rely on ourselves for research and development of most of our military technology," legislative spokeswoman Fu Ying said. "Meanwhile, we need to ceaselessly improve conditions for our soldiers," he added.
The Chinese military has seen double-digit yearly budget increases for going on two decades at this point. And actual spending may even be greater than what is officially included in the budget. Other countries in the region are nervous about the constant military build up, particularly in light of tensions with Japan in the East China Sea over control of a chain of islands and the borders of the two countries' exclusive economic zones.