The Financial Times reminds us that many arms expenditures are invested fully at home:
China’s spending on internal public security overtook national defence for the first time last year, underlining Beijing’s growing concern about public unrest.
The finance ministry said, in a budget released at the weekend, that spending on public security grew 15.6 per cent to Rmb549bn ($84bn) last year, compared with defence spending that grew 7.8 per cent to Rmb533.4bn. Public security spending was Rmb34.6bn, or 6.7 per cent, over budget.
Security spending, budgeted at Rmb624bn, is this year scheduled to outpace defence, at Rmb602bn, and will be more than the combined budgets for healthcare, diplomacy and financial oversight.
This reprioritisation underscores Beijing’s nervousness at escalating public unrest. Violent riots in Xinjiang and Tibet have prompted more spending on public security forces, including paramilitary forces known as the people’s armed police.
Read the whole article here.