Military budget of the People's Republic of China
The military budget of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the portion of the overall budget of China that is allocated for the funding of the military of the People's Republic of China. This military budget finances employee salaries and training costs, the maintenance of equipment and facilities, support of new or ongoing operations, and development and procurement of new weapons, equipment, and vehicles. Every March, as part of its annual state budget, China releases a single overall figure for national military expenditures.
In 2014, the Chinese government released its official defense spending at 808.23 billion yuan ($131.57 billion), an increase from the previous year of 12.2%. This makes China's military budget the second largest in the world behind the US.
Unofficial estimates place the total amount of military spending for the People's Republic of China higher than the Chinese government figures, but these calculations tend to differ between organizations.
The last year that many international institutes provided estimates of Chinese military spending in comparable terms was 2003. In terms of the prevailing exchange rate, SIPRI, RAND, the CIA and the DIA estimated the budget to be between US$30–65 billion. In terms of purchasing power parity, or the relative purchasing strength of the expenditure, the SIPRI estimate was as high as US$140 billion. The Chinese government's published budget at that time was less than US$25 billion.
A RAND Corporation study for year 2003 estimated the People's Republic of China's defense spending to be higher than the official number but lower than United States Department of Defense calculations. The defense spending of the People's Republic of China was estimated, in the mid-range estimate, to be 38 billion dollars or 2.3% of China's GDP in 2003. The official figure was 22.4 billion dollars. Nevertheless, Chinese military spending doubled between 1997 and 2003, nearly reaching the level of the United Kingdom and Japan, and it continued to grow over 10% annually during 2003-2005.
In 2010, the US Department of Defense's annual report to Congress on China's military strength estimated the actual 2009 Chinese military spending at US$150 billion. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that the military spending of the People's Republic of China for 2009 was US$100 billion, higher than the official budget, but lower than the US DoD estimate.
Jane's Defence Forecasts in 2012 estimated that China's defense budget would increase from $119.80 billion to $238.20 billion between 2011 and 2015. This would make it larger than the defense budgets of all other major Asian nations combined. This is still smaller than the estimated United States defense budget of $525.40 billion for 2013. However, United States defense spending is slightly declining.
Comparison with other countries
|Country/Region||Official budget (latest)||SIPRI (2012)||IHS Inc. (2013)||IISS (2013)|
|United States||$575 billion ||$682.5 billion||$582.4 billion||$600.4 billion|
|United Kingdom||$56.9 billion||$60.8 billion||$58.9 billion||$57 billion|
|Japan||$47 billion||$59.3 billion||$56.8 billion||$51 billion|
|People's Republic of China (PRC)||$131 billion||$166.1 billion||$139.2 billion||$112.2 billion|
|Russia||$69.3 billion||$90.7 billion||$68.9 billion||$68.2 billion|
Amitai Etzioni of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies urges policymakers to avoid jumping to the conclusion that China is a rising "adversary" based on its military budget and economic success.
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