China: March 17, 2004

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The European Union is ending the arms embargo imposed on China after the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in China. Details for how the embargo will end are being worked out. Right now, China buys most of its high tech weapons from Russia and Israel. Europe wants some of this business, but has to dispense with the embargo first.

Chinese media (controlled by the government) are reporting that foreign reporters are all wrong about the Chinese defense budget. Correctly pointing out that these foreign reports are largely guess work, because details of the Chinese defense budget are top secret. But it is still the case that most Chinese military assets are out in the open. Major weapons purchases can be seen and counted. The lifestyle and pay of the troops is known and can be translated into cash totals. Chinese military spending is growing fast and larger quantities of modern weapons are being bought every year.

 

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