Jump in Chinese defence spending

– I’ve written before that the coming shortages in oil and gas supplies are going to create greater competition for these ever scarcer resources. This competition may begin politely but I fear it will not end that way. Nations are not likely to take the end of their increasing wealth and power lightly. Japan, for example, imports over 90% of all the oil and gas it uses. Without it, it will be driven back into a medieval economy. India and China are not likely to go quietly into that dark night of preindustrialization either. And, dear readers, why do you think the US is in Iraq?


China’s military budget will increase by 17.8% in 2007, the spokesman for the National People’s Congress has said.

Jiang Enzhu said that military spending next year would amount to 350.92bn yuan, an increase of 52.99bn yuan.

The rise was announced the day before Chinese lawmakers were due start their annual parliamentary session.

Mr Jiang said the money would be used to increase wages for military personnel and to upgrade weapons, but gave no further details.

China says its military budget rose by 14.7% last year to $36.6bn (£18.6bn), but the US and other observers believe the actual figure may be two or three times that amount.

Correspondents say China is seeking to modernise its huge but often poorly-equipped military forces by building or purchasing new ships, missiles and fighter planes.



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