Nothing to see here folks. Move along. All is well. Pay no attention to that Chinaman behind the curtain...
The New York Times :
Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Li said that the extra money would be spent on new weaponry and pay increases. At 2.3 million soldiers, the People's Liberation Army is the world's largest land force, and the Chinese Navy and Air Force have been rapidly modernizing their arsenals.
The Chinese Air Force conducted its first flight test of a stealth fighter jet, the J-20, in January while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was in Beijing resuming top-level military relations after a year-long estrangement. The Pentagon has said that China's navy could deploy its first aircraft carrier this year.
By any measure, however, China's armed force are a shadow of the United States' military, with a 2010 budget of roughly $700 billion, 11 aircraft carriers, 139 stealth fighters and a nearly 2,400 conventional fighter jets - almost a thousand more than in China. At less than two percent of gross domestic product, "China's defense spending is relatively low by world standards," Mr. Li said.
China's neighbors nonetheless have been rattled recently by what some outside analysts have called Beijing's newly aggressive military posture, particularly in contested Pacific waters off the east coast. Late last year, China turned Japan's seizure of a Chinese fishing boat in disputed waters into an international standoff. This week, Japan scrambled military jets after Chinese Navy aircraft approached the area.
Those 11 carriers are becoming increasingly vulnerable to Chinese-made surface to ship missiles that can defeat most of the countermeasures that would be launched by our screening vessels . That, plus our navy is shrinking and it is doubtful that we will have 11 carriers in a few years. The question of refueling all of those jets isn't addressed either. We have a lack of forward bases in the Far East so those jets would have a long way to go to defend Taiwan, for instance. In a major engagement, would we be able to refuel enough planes in mid-air to get the job done?
There is one undeniable fact; China is increasing its combat capability while ours is shrinking. How much GDP China spends on its military is not nearly as important as what they're spending it on and how we are responding. It's obvious that the two great powers are moving in opposite directions when it comes to national defense.