- Adam Liffa and Andrew Erickson try to shed some light on China’s military budget in China Quarterly. They’re saying the inflation-adjusted growth rate has been slowing down and converging with GDP growth, which itself has cooled down. This would amount to net growth in the 7%-8% range this year, based on Chinese inflation at about 3%-4%. However the current budget, done during the recent power transition in Beijing, may still prove to be an outlier.
- Of course any Western military would love to see its budget growth shrink to “just 8%” per year. Latest country to face another round of cuts: the UK. Treasury Budget 2013 [PDF] | FT | Guardian.
- Count Turkey’s Defense Industry Undersecretary among those who’d like to have more money. The country’s armament exports reached $1.2B last year while their defense budget has remained in a $13B-$15B/year range. Hürriyet Daily News.
- Probably too much has been made of China’s investments in a port in Gwadar, Pakistan. China has other options to gain access to the Indian ocean, from islands such Sri Lanka or the Seychelles, to Bangladesh and Myanmar. But these infrastructure investments and partnerships, Gwadar included, are far from a walk in the park. And even if China ends up developing these projects successfully, it would not necessarily mean that it is on a collision course with “resident power” [PDF] India. Friction between the two seems inevitable but there is also room for cooperation.
Continue Reading… »