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China’s Defense Spend May Equal U.S. by 2023, Report Says

China’s defense spending may equal that of the U.S. within a decade if annual increases continue at the current rate, according to research published Thursday, March 14.

Chinese military expenditure has increased by an average of 15 percent a year, according toanalysis by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies. That rate of increase, along with the inclusion of defense spending currently excluded from the People’s Liberation Army’s budget, will cause it to reach U.S. levels around 2023, the institute said.

“China’s indigenous capacity to produce advanced equipment is gradually transforming the People’s Liberation Army,” IISS Director General John Chipman told reporters in London. “China now spends more on defense than neighboring Japan, South Korea and Taiwancombined.”

The PLA commissioned its first aircraft carrier in September and its emergence as a naval power can also be seen in its new Type-052D destroyer, Type-056 corvettes, maritime patrol aircraft and developments in its guided missile systems, Chipman said.

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