U.S. Is Instigating "Arms Race On the Sea"

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-08-12 16:46
Military expenditure and growth rate in countries and regions around China 2014-2015

Total military expenditure (Unit: $ billion)

China's Taiwan












The Philippines



"The South China Sea dispute is very likely a strategic scam set up by the U.S . under multiple factors."

Participants in the Asian Pacific arms race find themselves in a security dilemma-their military scale-up even for defense purpose would be considered a threat by other countries that they need to respond to. Such a race poses a security dilemma that the involved nations find hard to stay away from.

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (ChinaMil) -- The Japanese Defense Ministry rolled out a bidding plan for new-generation fighters in the middle of July 2016, according to which orders worth up to $40 billion may be placed on about 100 fighters, the largest deal of its kind in the world this year.

The deal is not in the statistics of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) yet, which released a report in March this year that said global military expenditure in 2015 was $1.676 trillion, taking up about 2.3 percent of the world's total GDP, and Asia and Oceania accounted for 46 percent of the global military expenditure, with several Asian countries ranking among the top in terms of arsenal import.

"This reflects those countries' concern over regional security. All countries are in a race of buying military equipment that far exceeds the scope of normal defense, and the South China Sea region shows a tendency of turning into another Balkan Peninsula." Liu Feng, an expert on South China Sea issue, was worried that this might escalate into a regional arms race due to the interference of out-of-the-region countries.

To Have More Bargaining Chips?

The report released by SIPRI on 2015 global military expenditure showed a growth rate of 25 percent, 16.5 percent and 7.6 percent from 2014 for the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam respectively. This is because the South China Sea situation has escalated quickly and relevant nations all stepped up their military strength.

The spokesperson of the Philippine Navy announced with great joy on March 28, 2016 that the three landing ships they bought from Australia had arrived at Cebu, a city in central Philippines. The three ships will be renovated and then commissioned in the Philippine Navy and will appear at the 118th founding anniversary of the Navy.

Public information shows that the three ships - HMAS Balikpapan, HMAS Wewak and HMAS Betano - are all more than 40 years old and have served in the Australian Navy since the 1970s.

"The Philippines is buying junks from Australia." "Australia can't suppress giggles while making money out of junk". In face with such ridicules from the Philippine public, the then Philippine president Aquino defended himself at the military parade on June 27 that before he came into office, the Philippines had difficulty purchasing used C-130 transport planes, but now it had four new C-130S planes.

Military purchase is one of the few highlights in president Aquino's performance sheet. In July 2014, the country decided to spend $1.5 billion purchasing arsenal from global arms dealers.

It claimed that the Navy was in urgent need for maritime replenishment ship, new frigate, multi-purpose attack boat, amphibious assault vehicle and target hitting support system, while the air force needed air monitoring radar, fighter, long-distance patrol aircraft, short-distance air support plane and multi-purpose armed helicopter.

With this massive military purchase, the Philippine government hoped to have control of the air over land and sea by 2027, have the maritime capability of patrolling and monitoring the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, and its ground forces would be able to engage in all kinds of combats, including small-scale conflicts and limited regular warfare.

To secure enough military budget, the Philippine congress demanded the government early this year to consider issuing bonds and set up a foundation for the total worth of 150 billion Philippine Pesos ($3.20 billion) to provide long-term financial aid for the country's military modernization.

Aquino said blankly at the military parade on June 27 that their strong efforts on military modernization were mainly driven by the aim of seizing the South China Sea.

According to statistics released by Janes Defense Weekly, the Philippines has overtaken Chinese mainland to rank 5th in the world in terms of arms import. Also seeing a big jump in arms import is Vietnam, whose ranking in that aspect climbed up from 43rd to 8th in the world in 2011-2015.

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