March 8, 2012
China's Military Leaps Forward
Daniel Twining, German Marshall Fund
The Chinese announcement of a more than 11 percent increase in declared military spending - following two full decades of double-digit increases - raises several uncomfortable questions for Asia and the West. It is natural for a rising power like China to develop capabilities to defend its expanding array of interests. On the other hand, China's ascent has been made possible by a benign security environment that well served China's goal of "peaceful development." China's growing military capabilities now threaten to upset that order in ways that, ironically, could complicate China's security environment at the same time as slowing economic growth intensifies its internal challenges.
China's defense spending - now officially $106 billion but estimated by the Pentagon and...