Europe fights, Asia arms itself
Sipri: China and India follow the U.S. in military spending. In 2021 the Chinese arrived at 293 billion dollars (+4.7%). Delhi's defense outlay touches 76.6 billion. Upward trend also for Japan and Australia. After four years, Iran's military budget has increased again. In Qatar, growth of 434% compared to 2010.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Europe is at war, but in Asia military spending by the main continental powers is growing. According to data published yesterday by the Stockholm Institute Peace Research Institute (Sipri), in 2021 military budgets in the world exceeded for the first time the 2 trillion dollars (2,113, to be precise), an increase of 0.7% over the previous year. After the USA, China and India have the highest military budgets, followed by Great Britain and Russia.
This is the seventh consecutive year that global defense spending has increased, despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. While U.S. military spending (1 billion) saw an annual decline of 1.4 percent, Russian military spending rose 2.9 percent to .9 billion: in essence, the Kremlin prepared the field for the invasion of Ukraine.
Last year, the Chinese spent 293 billion dollars on their own defense: a growth compared to 2020 of 4.7%: several analysts consider it underestimated due to Beijing's opacity on the subject. However, this is the 27th consecutive annual increase.
Between 2020 and 2021, Indian military spending grew by 0.9%, touching 76.6 billion dollars: +33% compared to 2012. Sipri notes that 64% of Delhi's defense budget is dedicated to the purchase of Indian-made equipment, a way to support the domestic defense industry.
China's activism in the South and East China Seas, as well as along the Taiwan Strait, has pushed up military spending by countries like Japan and Australia. Tokyo has raised its defense budget to .1 billion. That's an annual increase of 7.3 percent, the highest since 1972.
Canberra came in at .8 billion (up 4 percent). In September, the Australians signed Aukus, a military pact with the U.S. and Britain that will allow them to build eight nuclear submarines with U.S. technology and know-how. Cost: 128 billion dollars, spread over about 20 years.
The data on Iran and Qatar is also relevant. Iranian military spending grew for the first time in four years to .6 billion. Thirty-four percent goes to the Pasdaran, the Guardians of the Revolution in the service of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Instead, with an outlay of .6 billion, Doha has become the fifth largest military force in the Middle East in terms of budget - a 434% increase over 2010.