China’s military in 2020

Gary Li

Introduction: robust economy

The People’s Republic of China has seen extraordinary development since Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Reform and Opening Up’ policy of the 1980s. Double-digit growth and a massive foreign currency reserve since 2006, coupled with its unique version of the free-market model, has seen the country weather the 2009 global financial crisis much better than the rest of Asia. Alongside China’s economic strength, its military power has also grown within the past three decades, but as the new century progresses China finds itself having to adjust in the face of new challenges and strategic dilemmas.

China continues to increase its defence spending, rising to $77.9 billion in 2010, an increase of some ...

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