China Defense Spending to Eclipse Rest of Asia Pacific by 2030

Visitors pose for photographs in front of a weapon on the deck of a People's Liberation Army ship during an open day at the Ngong Suen Chau Barracks in Hong Kong.

Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg

China has been spending more and more on modernizing its defense systems and technologies. So much so that its budget is set to surpass the rest of Asia Pacific combined by 2030.

Last year, the region’s largest economy spent about $193 billion on defense -- close to half the entire Asia-Pacific expenditure, and almost four times India’s $52.4 billion, according to Jane’s by IHS Markit. That compares with the $643 billion the U.S. spent in 2017.

While overall spending in Asia Pacific slowed in 2017, it should pick up in the next two years as conflicts over the South China Sea and North Korea boost defense budgets, Jane’s principal analyst Craig Caffrey said in a report. Globally, defense spending is expected to reach a post Cold-War high of $1.67 trillion this year, mainly driven by increased expenditure in the U.S.

Great Wall of China

China's 2017 defense spending was almost half of Asia Pacific's $425 billion total

Source: Jane's by IHS Markit

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