Military Spending in East Asia Rises 6.2% Amid China's Growing Power

East Asia's military spending surges 6.2% to $411B in 2023, driven by China's rising power and heightened geopolitical tensions, prompting neighbors like Japan and Taiwan to boost their own military capabilities.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Military Spending in East Asia Rises 6.2% Amid China's Growing Power

Military Spending in East Asia Rises 6.2% Amid China's Growing Power

Military spending in East Asia rose by 6.2% to $411 billion in 2023, driven by China's growing military power and heightened geopolitical tensions in the region, according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The report highlights the ongoing military buildup and the potential implications for regional stability and security.

China's military budget reached an estimated $296 billion in 2023, accounting for 12% of global military spending and half of the expenditure in Asia and Oceania. This increase in China's military spending has prompted neighboring countries like Japan and Taiwan to significantly enhance their own military capabilities in response to the perceived threat.

Japan announced its biggest military build-up since World War II, with plans to spend $310 billion on its armed forces from 2023 to 2027. Taiwan also increased its military budget and created extrabudgetary funds for F-16 combat aircraft and naval systems, which accounted for 21% of its total military spending in 2023.

Why this matters: The unprecedented rise in military spending in East Asia reflects the deteriorating peace and security situation in the region. As states prioritize military strength in response to growing tensions, there is a risk of an 'action-reaction spiral' that could further escalate the already volatile geopolitical landscape.

The SIPRI report also revealed that global military expenditure reached a record high of $2.443 trillion in 2023, a 6.8% increase from 2022, marking the steepest year-on-year rise since 2009. The 10 largest military spenders, led by the United States, China, and Russia, all increased their spending.

"The unprecedented rise in military spending is a direct response to the global deterioration in peace and security," said Dr. Nan Tian, Senior Researcher at SIPRI. "States are prioritizing military strength, risking an action-reaction spiral in an increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape."

Key Takeaways

  • Military spending in East Asia rose 6.2% to $411B in 2023, driven by China.
  • China's military budget reached $296B, 12% of global spending and half of Asia's.
  • Japan announced its biggest military build-up since WWII, spending $310B from 2023-2027.
  • Taiwan increased military budget, 21% for F-16s and naval systems in 2023.
  • Global military expenditure reached a record $2.443T in 2023, a 6.8% increase.