In 2004, China spent $57.5 billion on defense, representing 4% of the world's total military spending. Now it spends far more. How might China's rapid increase in military spending impact its relations with the United States?

1 Answer
Jun 26, 2018

It depends on how it is interpreted.


Huge Chinese defence spending could lead to demands for an increase in US defence spending in order to protect the USA. The USA already spends a considerable amount but under Trump this is a more likely scenario in the future.

Set against this is the reality on international politics. Trump had a recent summit with Kim Jung Un in Singapore and a rapprochement with North Korea would be brokered by the Chinese who are the North Korean's closest allies. This might mitigate against increased military tension. Indeed the USA recently cancelled a joint military exercise with South Korea.

One has also to consider economic relations as all these factors are linked. Trump's protectionist policies in imposing tariffs on imports has not gone down well in China or Europe. This in turn could lead to increased tension and a subsequent increase in US defence spending.