While lots of folks are fretting over China’s announced 12.7% increase in defense spending, few have yet noted the way domestic security spending continues to outpace defenese spending, not just in amount but also in rate of growth. From Jamestown comes this:
While it is well-known that China’s public-security apparatus has expanded vastly since 2008, the “Year of the Olympics,” observers were astounded by the 624.4 billion yuan ($95.0 billion) wei-wen budget for this year. The increase represented a jump of 13.8 percent over that of 2010. In comparison, the PLA budget stood at 601.1 billion yuan ($91.5 billion), a year-on-year rise of 12.7 percent (Reuters, March 5; Ming Pao [Hong Kong] March 6).
For those of you who have been watching, the most recent internal security budget is not only 4% larger than Beijing’s defense budget (the first time ever) but it represents a 45% increase in spending from 2009 levels.
Somebody’s very worried in Beijing.