China: June 17, 2005


China's modernization of its armed forces has now become a media battle between Chinese and American officials. Recent speeches by the American Secretary of Defense, pointing out Chinese military modernization and expansion efforts of the last decade, generated interesting reactions from the Chinese government, insisting  that the Americans were wrong, and that China was simply maintaining its military for defensive purposes. What China did not point out was that Chinese language media has, for many years, been preaching the need to make the military stronger so that China would get the respect it deserved, and to win the future war with the United States. This line is very popular within China, but externally, China wants to portray itself as a peaceful country, struggling to improve its economy, and the lives of its citizens. China's military budget, like many other financial numbers the government gives out, are not what they appear to be. This deceptive policy has been going on for decades, and is no secret. China is probably spending over $50 billion a year on  defense, and fast closing in on $100 billion a year.


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