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Newsweek: Washington Cries Wolf

Author: Andrew Moravcsik
March 31, 2008

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Newsweek's special correspondent Andrew Moravcsik reports that although Beijing's new military-spending figures caused some alarm in the Pentagon, a closer look at the numbers, and China -- while hardly benign -- starts to look a lot less sinister. Earlier this month, China announced a 17.6 percent increase in its 2008 defense budget, up to $58.8 billion. This followed a 17.8 percent increase last year, for a country that already has a 2.3 million-person military -- the world's largest. What's misleading is the fact that China's military modernization isn't accelerating; it's been slowing for decades. China's military means are not excessive; they're appropriate to its geopolitical situation.

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