As reported by Reuters news agency today, an increase in appearance of new Chinese naval warships far from traditional Chinese patrolling areas, shows that China is focusing much of its spending on naval power. The report states that China spent $139 billion (US) in 2016 on their defense although unnamed diplomats say this figure is below what is actually spent. Next month China will reveal its 2017 defense budget at their annual parliamentary meeting. Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow and coordinator at Singapore’s Military Transformations Programme at the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies said that the, “…PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Navy has really been the beneficiary of a lot of this new spending in the past 15 years.” According to Chinese state media, 18 ships were commissioned in 2016 that includes: destroyers, corvettes, and frigates. The Reuters report stated that China was “wary of (US President) Trump’s unpredictability” due to a statement by an unnamed “Beijing-based Asian diplomat”.
Reuters report found here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-defence-navy-idUSKBN16500P?il=0
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