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Beijing’s big(ger) bill

By the Numbers

Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Beijing’s big(ger) bill
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$208 billion

The amount the People’s Republic of China announced it will spend on its military in 2021, a 6.8 percent increase over 2020. But analysts say China’s real spending is much higher. The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated China’s overall 2019 spending was $234 billion, even though Beijing officially reported $172 billion.


China’s defense spending in 1999.


The percentage of total military spending in East Asia for which China is responsible.


China’s official military spending growth from 2020, which almost equals Taiwan’s total military spending.


The number of ships in China’s naval fleet. The U.S. Navy has 296 deployable ships.


The Biden administration’s U.S. defense spending proposal for fiscal year 2022.


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