China: March 6, 2001

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China announced that it had increased its defense budget over 18 percent to $17 billion. This compares to $12 billion for South Korea, $11 billion for Taiwan, $42 billion for Japan and $310 billion for the US. China is trying to introduce more technology into it's armed forces, but this is difficult because the troops need a raise, as the booming economy makes it difficult to get good people. Training is also at a low level, as this costs money for fuel and ammunition. With over two million troops, $17 billion doesn't go very far.

 

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