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Military budget of the People's Republic of China

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Title: Military budget of the People's Republic of China  
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Subject: People's Liberation Army General Armaments Department, Supreme Military Command of the People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army General Logistics Department, Jinan Military Region, Beijing Military Region
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Military budget of the People's Republic of China

The military budget of China in US$ billions.
The military budget of China as a percentage of GNP.

The military budget of China is the portion of the overall budget of China that is allocated for the funding of the military of China. This military budget finances employee salaries and training costs, the maintenance of equipment and facilities, support of new or ongoing operations, and development and procurement of new weapons, equipment, and vehicles. Every March, as part of its annual state budget, China releases a single overall figure for national military expenditures.[1]

In 2014, the Chinese government released its official defense spending at 808.23 billion yuan ($131.57 billion), an increase from the previous year of 12.2%.[2] This makes China's military budget the second largest in the world behind the US.[3] According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, China became the world's third largest exporter of major arms in 2010-14, an increase of 143 per cent from the period 2005-2009. China supplied major arms to 35 states in 2010–14. A significant percentage (just over 68 per cent) of Chinese exports went to three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. China also exported major arms to 18 African states.[4]

Official announcements

The Chinese government annually announce the budget for the internal security forces and the PLA at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in early March.

  • 2014: the budget was announced to be US$132BN[2]
  • 2015: the budget was announced to be US$141BN[5] At the same time, the Chinese government estimated the Chinese economy to grow 7% in 2015.[6]

Unofficial estimates

Unofficial estimates place the total amount of military spending for China higher than the Chinese government figures, but these calculations tend to differ between organizations.

The last year that many international institutes provided estimates of Chinese military spending in comparable terms was 2003. In terms of the prevailing exchange rate, SIPRI, RAND, the CIA and the DIA estimated the budget to be between US$30–65 billion. In terms of purchasing power parity, or the relative purchasing strength of the expenditure, the SIPRI estimate was as high as US$140 billion.[7] The Chinese government's published budget at that time was less than US$25 billion.

A RAND Corporation study for year 2003 estimated China's defense spending to be higher than the official number but lower than United States Department of Defense calculations. The defense spending of China was estimated, in the mid-range estimate, to be 38 billion dollars or 2.3% of China's GDP in 2003. The official figure was 22.4 billion dollars. Nevertheless, Chinese military spending doubled between 1997 and 2003, nearly reaching the level of the United Kingdom and Japan, and it continued to grow over 10% annually during 2003-2005.[8]

In 2010, the US Department of Defense's annual report to Congress on China's military strength estimated the actual 2009 Chinese military spending at US$150 billion.[9] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that the military spending of the People's Republic of China for 2009 was US$100 billion,[10] higher than the official budget, but lower than the US DoD estimate.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies in a 2011 report argued that if spending trends continue China will achieve military equality with the United States in 15–20 years.[11]

Jane's Defence Forecasts in 2012 estimated that China's defense budget would increase from $119.80 billion to $238.20 billion between 2011 and 2015. This would make it larger than the defense budgets of all other major Asian nations combined. This is still smaller than the estimated United States defense budget of $525.40 billion for 2013. However, United States defense spending is slightly declining.[12]

Comparison with other countries

Absolute expenditures in USD
Country/Region Official budget (latest) SIPRI (2012)[13] IHS Inc. (2013)[14] IISS (2013)[15]
United States $575 billion [16] $682.5 billion $582.4 billion $600.4 billion
China $131 billion[3] $166.1 billion $139.2 billion $112.2 billion
Russia $69.3 billion[17] $90.7 billion $68.9 billion $68.2 billion
United Kingdom $56.9 billion[18] $60.8 billion $58.9 billion $57 billion
Japan $47 billion[19] $59.3 billion $56.8 billion $51 billion
India $40 billion

International reaction

Amitai Etzioni of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies urges policymakers to avoid jumping to the conclusion that China is a rising "adversary" based on its military budget and economic success.[20]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ pg 26
  8. ^ Modernizing China’s Military Opportunities and Constraints
  9. ^ Office of the Secretary of Defense - Annual Report to Congress: Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2010 (PDF)[1]
  10. ^
  11. ^ "East-West military gap rapidly shrinking: report", By Peter Apps, Reuters, Tue Mar 8, 2011
  12. ^ AIRSHOW-Fighters, radar, marine patrols top Asia's military wish-list, Raju Gopalakrishnan, Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:38am EST, Reuters,
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ United States Department of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), retrieved May 3rd, 2014.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links

  • - 2005Where your income tax money really goesWar Resisters League -
  • Rand Corporation, China
  • The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database
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