On Saturday 4th, before the start of the annual meeting of the Congress, Fu Ying, spokesperson for the National People’s Congress (NPC), announced that China will spend “about 1.3 percent” of its gross domestic product on its military this year. This percentage represents an increase of around 7 percent over 2016. On Monday 6th the Ministry of Finance came up with the total amount of the PLA’s budget, 1.04 trillion yuan ($152 billion). According to the known spending of Chinese military budget, announced percentage increases have been falling. In fact, this year’s 7% is slightly less than last year’s 7.6%. Last year’s 7.6 % was far below 2015’s 10.1%, and was the first single-digit rise since 2010. Yet even if China’s percentage increase is lower this year than last, countries in the region should not relax. The PLA now appears to be rapidly increasing its call on central government resources. Mr. Fisher, a senior fellow of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, concludes that the increase in China’s real military spending, once everything is taken into account, “could easily top 10 percent.”
Between April 18th– 20th the Congress “Disarm! For peace, Social Justice and Sustainable Development in Africa” will be held in Kenya. Professor Manas Chatterji from State University of New York will participate.
The topics that will be analized are:
- Conflict management, peace economics and peace science
- Women struggle against militarization in East Africa
- East Africa security complex
- The intersection between illegitimate debts and militarization in East Africa.
U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to boost defence spending by 10% in his proposed budget plan for 2018.
His plan is to increase defense spending by $54bn (£43bn). Doing so he aims to protect the United States, but according to Neta Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project and professor of political science at Boston University, “the United States could decrease its military spending by 10 percent, 20 percent and be just as safe, probably more safe.”
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On 20th February the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) launched the data on International Arms Transfers and their Trends.
According to them, “the volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 per cent between 2007–11 and 2012–16. Notably, transfers of major weapons in 2012–16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of the cold war.”
Arms transfers have increased to Asia and Oceania and the Middle East, while there was a decrease in the flow to Europe, the Americas and Africa. The five biggest exporters – the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany – together accounted for 74 per cent of the total volume of arms exports.
On the 15th of February the Observatory on Italian military expenditures presents to the Parliament its firs report on the Italian military expenditures. In this report there is also a focus by Pere Ortega of the Centre of Peace Studies J. M. Delás on Spanish military expenditure.
For the year 2017 Italy has destined around € 23,3 billion to the military expenditures, equivalent to over 64 million € a day. In comparison to 2016 a light increase is recorded. These are some of the data contained in the Report Milex 2017 on the Italian military expenditures,
The expenditure grows instead for the weapons justified by struggle to the terrorism, to contrast the immigration and crime.