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International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

China’s military rise

The Chinese military build-up is reflected in the steep growth in its military spending. This is rooted in a renewed foreign and security policy doctrine, manifested by a greater involvement and assertiveness of China on the international stage.

Chinese soldier

© darren whittingham / Fotolia

The modernisation of China’s military forces is the main thrust of its military development. Its major aim is to enhance power projection capabilities of different parts of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The development of the naval forces is the most impressive example of this trend. China’s fast-growing navy is gradually expanding its sphere of maritime activities, aiming to become a truly global maritime power by 2050.

The deterioration in US-China relations may be one of the major consequences of the growing affirmation of China’s new ambitions, reflected in its military rise. According to most commentators there is no immediate risk of war, but it is creating new deep antagonism between superpowers which could profoundly mark future international relations.

The EU, increasingly aware of the necessity of a security dialogue with China, has to deal with the issue of arms embargo, viewed as a major obstacle on the road to deepening relations.

Read the complete briefing here.

China's military spending

Military budgets 1989-2011 (in billion US$)

Main arms providers to China 2000-2012

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