China: The Most Insecure Party-State of the 21st Century

January 30, 2019 By Tenzin Tsultrim, PhD, moderndiplomacy

For the past many years in a row, both for external and for internal security, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has spent billions of dollars because of its rising sense of insecurity to the stability of its regime.

In the terms of external security, China’s defence budget has increased steeply over the years. Asian states spent US$ 367.7 billion in 2016, up by 5.3% when compared with the 2015 figure of US$ 349.1 bn. In 2012-16, Asian real-terms defence spending grew by 5-6% each year. In 2016, China accounted for 39.4% of this total spend. (The International Institute for Strategic Studies IISS 2017: 246). Another premier think tank, SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) further validated the trends on the growing military expenditure of China. According to the SIPRI Factsheet May 2018, “Military expenditure in Asia and Oceania rose from 17 per cent of global military spending in 2008 to 27 per cent in 2017. This was due primarily to China’s spending rising from 5.8 per cent to 13 per cent of the world military expenditure over the period.”The Factsheet further added, ”China’s military spending, at an estimated $ 228 billion, accounted for 48 per cent of the regional total and was 3.6 times that of the region’s second largest spender, India.”From the above figures, it clearly show China’s rising military spending has increased exponentially. However scholars have expressed their doubts about the reliability of the official figures given by the CCP. Which, in fact, clearly implies that it might be just ”the tip of the iceberg.” The rising military spending of the CCP has casted a shadow of doubts across Asian regions. According to 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, Pew Research Centre, the growing China’s military spending and military power has caused concerns across Asia-Pacific regions­, leading to the security dilemma in the Western Pacific region. Hence, in order to secure their political stability, the CCP has made their neighbouring countries more insecure and eventually making itself or China more insecure.[Source]

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