Saturday, March 5, 2011

China's military budget for 2011 + Jasmine Revolution

As you guys probably have heard by now, China is planning to raise its military budget for 2011 by 12.7% (or 12.6% in other reports). You can see CNN's piece on it here. Now, I'm sure that there have been the usual alarming articles about China's rising military expenditures and the much higher real military expenditures, but I think that's often overstated. For example, I often read mention of arms import and other security forces like PAP not been included in the defense budget. However, China currently spends very little on arms import compared to the overall budget. In fact, the largest recent defense purchase are for 18 Ka-28/31 and a number of Mi-171 helicopters. Gone are the days where it spent billions on Kilo submarines and Su-30 fighter jets. On top of that, the budget allocation for PAP can be found on both the federal and provincial budget, so they are not as hidden as claimed by "experts". When one consider that the real inflation is China is running at probably 10%, a 12.7% hike is really not that much. And I think that when people spends too much time on the defense budget, they miss out on more important subjects like the following.

This WSJ piece is a far more interesting story in my opinion.

China projected bigger spending on internal security than on defense in 2011–after spending more last year too–as the government tightens physical and technological controls to quash calls for a “Jasmine Revolution” like the one shaking the Arab world.

On the first day of the annual meeting of China’s legislature, a Finance Ministry budget report showed that actual spending on law and order last year was 548.6 billion yuan ($83.5 billion), slightly more than what was budgeted for the year.

That compared with officially reported military expenditure of 533.5 billion yuan ($81.2 billion) in 2010.

The same report showed that spending this year on police, state security, armed civil militia, courts and jails would total 624.4 billion yuan ($95 billion), an increase of 13.8% over 2010.

China’s 2011 military budget, by comparison, is 601.1 billion ($91.5 billion), representing a rise of 12.7% over last year, a government spokesman announced Friday.

That means that China’s internal security spending is growing faster than its defense spending.

Actual spending on defense is probably far higher as the official budget omits key items such as arms imports, according to foreign analysts, but they say the same is also true of the public security budget, which does not include all covert surveillance for example.

The report did not detail what exactly the internal security budget would be spent on, but Premier Wen Jiabao suggested in his annual work report Saturday that some of it would be channelled towards Internet controls.

“We will strengthen and improve the system of public security,” he said. “We will improve the contingency response system, and enhance society’s capacity to manage crises and withstand risks. We will intensify our information security and secrecy, and improve management of information networks.”

The increase in the headline figure for law and order reflects Chinese leaders’ concerns about the potential for the kind of unrest which has racked the Middle East and North Africa over the last month, analysts say.

It is also likely to reinforce concerns among some Chinese scholars that China’s immense internal security apparatus is diverting funds away from welfare and other public services that might address the root causes of social unrest.

China’s security services are currently engaged in an intense and prolonged crackdown on dissent triggered by anonymous online calls for silent “strolling” protests in dozens of Chinese cities every Sunday. There have been few signs of actual protests since the appeals began circulating two weeks ago on Twitter and other sites which can only be seen in China by wealthier urbanites who use proxy servers or virtual private networks to circumvent web filters.

But China has responded with a massive show of force, detaining or confining to their homes dozens of political activists, and tightening Internet controls, especially on hugely popular Twitter-like micro-blogging sites.

Chinese police have also re-imposed some of the restrictions on foreign journalists that were lifted in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and warned them that they will have their visas revoked if they violate those restrictions.

Police summoned dozens of foreign reporters last week to video-recorded meetings in which many were told they were no longer permitted to go to the places where the protests were supposed to happen.

The Beijing Daily newspaper, which is the mouthpiece for the Communist Party in the capital, issued one of the loudest public warnings yet on Saturday against people taking part in anti-government protests.

“Everyone knows that stability is a blessing and chaos is a calamity,” it said in a commentary. “Those people intent on concocting and finding Middle East-style news in China will find their plans come to nothing.”

Now, I'm not sure exactly what China's internal spending really include. It could be including PAP or the civilian militia, but a large part of that is use to spy on its own citizens and keeping order around the country. If anything, I find the recent calls for Jasmine revolution to have raised far more anxiety from the Chinese political elite rather than the common folks. Unlike the middle eastern countries, the Chinese economy has done quite well in the past couple of years. People are reasonably satisfied with the government and willing to give up some freedom for stability and continued prosperity. However, with the inflation problem already here and a possible deceleration in the economy coming, we could reach a point where a large portion of the population become dissatisfied. If there is one thing that the Chinese political and the wealthy elite are fearful of, it would be a gathering of all of the people who have lost out of this capitalism movement. So, when we look at China's spending on internal security vs defense, is China's elite more afraid of America or of its own people?


duskylim said...

I suppose living in the Philippines gives one a different perspective vs living in the West.

Here we suffer from frequent 'color' revolutions ever since the 1st 'yellow' one in 1986.

They have not created better living conditions or improved people's lives in any way.

However they were tests for the US's CIA and State Dept., for fomenting similar revolutions all over the world.

Up to now the West hopes it can find a buffoon like Boris Yeltsin to lead China in to chaos and ruin.

It hopes to give the Chinese people the 'choice' between bad leaders like George Bush Jr. or Ronald Reagan.

The Chinese State's precaution is due to all this Western activity - sponsoring people like the Dalai Lama, Liu Xiao-bo or Rebiya Kadeer - who actively encourage the break-up and dissolution of China.

How can anyone trust the West and its incredible hypocrisy?

It is a good thing that they successfully alienate China's youth with their dirty 'hate' campaigns during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This West still hopes it can trigger the collapse of China before their own financial and economic problems catch up with them.

They will use all military, economic and propaganda means to resist the rise of China.

Unknown said...

Many who are borned and raised in the west are white-washed to the point that they earnestly believe that western style democracy is the one and only polical system that will work and they would also assume that people living under other political systems will all admire the west and will answer to any call for a revolution against their own government. This assumption is anologous to the one made by Napolean when he decides to attach Russia thinking that the surfs and minorities will join force with him once he drives into Russia. Its true that there are those in the east who feel inferior or afraid of the west especially those who are christianized but believe me, most are not. Aa a matter of fact many like myself feel sorry for american minorities and more importantly, many educated easterns simply don't believe that a white man wants to sacrifice his time and/or money to save someone that he despises so all the financial support for the fulong gung people, NGOs, church groups and descendents of various kinds will only have very little effect because Chinese are not stupid, we are not American Indians . To me the basic advantage of a two-party system is good only for the Americans because from an American point of view, while one party promise you something the other party can always say no in the name of democracy, of course. In parallel, for a country with a two party system , the US will always support the one who is most pro-american and the other will be eliminated by a little bit of encouragement and enlightenment to the people by the CIA. In conclusion when China is reprimanded by the west, it means China is on the right tract and conversely China should caution. I feel sorry for the nine Afghan kids who were recently bombed but I suppose that was one way to be free. Viewing from a different perspective may make this world safer for everyone and the good guy is not necessary the one who always points his fingers at others.

Jiang said...


Thank you for your comment.

I am a Chinese youth, well I am 24, and Yes I was PISSED OFF by the west and their dirty ways during the 2008 Olypics.

I now know the truth about the west and many young Chinese also know.

The west can keep dreaming about breaking China. Sooner or later we Chinese will give the West a little push and they will COLLAPSE like the USSR.


Jiang said...


Thank you for your comment too.

I am 100% Bhuddaist. FU@K Christrians FU@K THEM!!!

I live in the USA and you are 100% right about the brain washed Asians. I know this Asian guy from Singapore who is Christrian who HATES Chinese people. He called Chinese Chink many times and is so FU@KED UP.

This is why we Chinese will NEVER BE Christrians. FU@K them.

One day Muslims will destory Europe and end the Christrians on earth.

Jiang said...

Feng is also Christrian.

This is why he too hates Chinese government, and believe that being White is superior than being Asians.

So sad.

Feng said...

Jiang, you need to grow up. This has nothing to do with Christianity. Do you have an idea how many Chinese Christians there are right now?

I don't hate the Chinese government or anything like that. But as someone who deeply cares about the country, I feel like there are a lot of areas that it needs to improve in. And in the area of Internet security and domestic security, it's simply way too paranoid. Like the recent Jasmine revolution, it's clear that nobody in China even cares about something that some dude in America posted, but they made it into a way larger issue than it is.

There are real issues in China that need to be looked at like wealth gap, corruption and pollution. Even if the West is not involved, these are still issues. If you just say that Chinese government is perfect and nobody should question any of their actions, then you are going into dangerous territory.

As for the American system, I don't think it's great. In fact, I criticize it all the time, but that does not mean the Chinese gov't shouldn't be criticized.

xiaotangfeidao said...

I agree with Feng. I love China. Even though I live in the USA, I see myself as Chinese and care very much about China's progress and future. I also think the chinese government tend to act paranoid when it comes to internal security. I don't think it's necessary. From what I can tell, all the people I meet from china are happy with their lives. I think to fight corruption, China needs to have more freedom of media. I think reporters are some of the best detectives at exposing corruption and scandals ... I also think the chinese judicial system needs to be stronger and more mature. I must say, there are alot of anti-chinese sentiments around the world lately. I am guessing due to China's economic and military progress .... We as a people should stand together and not bend due to outside pressure but make the necessary criticisms and changes by OUR will for OUR country.

John said...

@Jiang, if you believe Buddhism, you shouldn’t use that foul language at all, Buddha always forgives people, even the murderers. Buddha always believes sins committed by people because they got into the wrong track by mistake, they will turn around and regret what they have done, then try to be better themselves.

If Chinese do ‘eye for eye and teeth for teeth’ to the people who have mistreated Chinese in the past, then Chinese is no better than those people Chinese despise. Jiang, you must show you can be better than those people, show the world that Chinese can do better and Chinese is the new hope for the peace and prosperity of the world.

All said, it doesn’t mean Chinese need to lay down let people roll all over them. Chinese just need to be firm, fair, compassionate and do what is right. To move forward, Chinese must be able to accept criticism with clear head, adapt the good ones and get rid the bad ones within themselves.

I don’t know how much actually you know about China as well as Chinese as a whole, but there are a lot of undesirable characteristics within the Chinese. China was weak has its reasons; the suffering of China in the past is not entirely the westerners’ fault. Comments from Feng and xiatangfeidao are honest and respectable.

Jiang said...

I hate the fact that there are Christrians in China.

We Chinese are NEVER christians. EVER.

Becoming christrians means that you addmit being a sub human, and replace your own culture with the white western one!!!!!

This is happening in SH!T cities like ShangHI!!!

valbonne said...

It is sad that certain Chinese are condemning Chinese Christian. Not all Chinese Christian are badly informed about Chinese Culture. A lot of Chinese Christian are very proud of their Chinese Culture and Chinese Civilization. Some of you must have met Pro-Western fanatics, that is all.

Feng said...

Do you know that 50% of people who volunteered to help out in Sichuan after the earthquake were Chinese Christians? You can very easily be a Christian and still proud of been Chinese at the same time. And I also have met a lot of agnostic Chinese who have basically turned their back on China. Religion and nationality are separate issues. btw, you are not making Buddhists look too great right now.

wagner said...

I am a white western man and I wish the best for my culture.
At the same time I wish the best for China and chinese people.
Both the West and China are great Cultures and civilisations with long and interesting and inspirational history.
Islam is not culture it is barbarity, it is a destroyer of many cultures it destroys christianity, buddhism, hinduism, zoroastrian, judaism and other cultures, wherever it grows.

It is unbelievable shameful for you as a human and as a buddhist to whish Europe the muslim holocaust.

I would never ever wish something like that for the chinese people...

By the way: As a buddhist you are less worth than the least animal in the eyes of a muslim believer.
I heard muslims talking about hindus and buddhists and believe me, you will not hear what they thinking and saying!
Islam and its shariah-law is seeking world-domonation.
What do you think they will do if Europe, their actual target is fallen down? will they laying back and smoke a pipe?
Than Europeans are muslims too and they then will try to dominate the rest of the world with their muslim Ummah.
China will be a target in the middle or long run.
Now you feed Pakistan with weapons, in the future you will not be very happy about. Perhaps some poor chinese workers will be killed by jihadis in Pakistan in a few years?
They are infidels (unbelievers), every muslim is allowed to kil them.

The chinese military is an interesting field of knowledge, but the quran and the hadiths are too. Perhaps you will read them one day and learn something about this growing religious ideology?
Than you know how you are described in their "holy" book, than you know what china can expect from Islam in the decades and centuries ahead...

John said...

@Jiang, Your rhetoric is puzzling, both Buddhism and Christianity are religions foreign to China; Buddhism is Indian, not Chinese. “Becoming Christian means that you admit being a sub human” because Christianity is from white western, then what do you have to say to yourself by submitting to another foreign religion, Buddhism?

Being a member of religion has nothing to do with your origin and culture. “replace your own culture with the white western one!!!!!” only happens to people with weak mind, are not proud of their own culture and heritage, and want to fit in. Jiang, are you one of them? A lot of people went to Christian schools, and went through years of religion education and examinations, but never get converted.

A lot of People in Shanghai are similar to the people in HK, they like to show off, and like to be seen at the front of time; becoming a Christian is one of those fads as a symbol of ahead of time. Mind you, just being baptized and going to church do not qualify one a real Christian. Those people are superficial, and they are the bunch that does not know where their souls are. Jiang, you should not get agitated by those annoyance. The question is that are you proud of yourself and your own heritage.

If your hostility towards Christians is due to Churches’ wrong doing in the past, it seems the government of China has made sure nothing of that sort is going to happen. If it is because of Fu Lung Gong, then you should know better that Fu Lung Gong is a cult.

Religions are for spiritual enlightenment if they are in the good hands, they work wonder to relief human suffering. You can’t dump the whole barrel because a few bad apples in it.

John said...

@wagner, China has a very large population of Muslims. China has a long history of dealing with Muslims; China knows the difficulties in dealing unrests originated by religion groups.
There were quite a few regimes toppled by religion groups in the Chinese history, that’s why China has such tight control over religions. Religion groups tend to be cult-like in China; the prime example is Fu Lung Gong.

Between the Muslims at home, Pakistan and containment led by the US, China is in the place of hard rocks.

Jiang said...

NO, not true.

Bhudduism is a foundation of Chinese culture!! We Chinese believe in Karma. If you do bad things you will be puhished, if you do good things you will be rewarded. This is why Chinese Americans are among the BEST US citizens, almost NEVER commit a crime.

However, Christians are NEVER part of Chinese culture. Christrians believe that as long as you believe in Jesus you will go to heaven. Christrians are completely un-compatable with Chinese culture.

As for Muslims. There are Chinese muslims for 1000 years. Chinese Muslims do not spread like Christrians do, they do not go around try to convert other Chinese into muslims.

Chinese can NEVER be Christrians. Only Taoism or Bhuddaism. Because it has been our culture for thousands of years. We Chinese only manage to overcome all these difficulties because of the powerful Chinse culture, once we Chinese become Christrians, we will never be the same anymore and we will be destroyed once and for all.

This time nothing can SAVE us!

John said...

@Jiang, If you believe Buddhism is a foundation of Chinese culture, that is fine. But Buddha definitely does not approve the things you have said about non-Buddhist believers. One of the important aspects of Buddhism is to achieve a state where their mind and spirit are void of human bewilderment, and ultimately to the state that transcends the self. Your excessive concern with Christianity is preventing you from fully exploring the higher aspects of Buddhism. So Jiang, let go of the things that agonize you, focus on your enlightenment as Buddha did.

Feng said...

Only Taoism is originally from China. Buddhism came from India originally. Everyone knows that. It's true sadness and religious bias that you continue to bad mouth Christianity.

But I would advise to actually read up a little bit on Christianity before you say such ignorant things. Until then, feel free to carry your hateful comments somewhere else. I appreciate everyone for coming to my blog and giving their views, but you should hold respect for other people who are trying to do the same.

Jiang said...

Feng and John are both fake Chinese, both Christrians!!!!

Bhuddaism has been in China for more than 2000 years!!!!!! Since Tang dynisty!!

Christrians are not from Europe neither how come Whites are Christrians??

Kiron said...

Clearly internal disorder is a more serious problem for China than any external threat. increased economic inequality is inevitable at this stage of Chinese economic development. increased monitoring and control is necessary and justified IMO. but it doesn't solve the fundamental problem. learning from the recent ME examples, the short term focus should be to provide more economic opportunities for the educated urban youth. in the terminology of the Marxist-Leninism, the really poor folks don't have the political consciousness necessary to cause really serious problem by themselves.