Forecasting China’s Military Spending Through 2025
U.S. policymakers are concerned about China’s potential to mount a serious military challenge to U.S. interests in Asia sometime in the next two decades. These concerns have risen as the Chinese government has rapidly increased its defense budget in recent years after a prolonged period of low levels of military spending. However, several trends must be sustained if these concerns are to become a reality by 2025. First, China’s economy will have to continue to grow, making resources available for military spending. Second, the Chinese government must successfully channel resources to the military. Third, improvements in China’s defense industry must continue if it is to produce the sophisticated weaponry needed to challenge U.S. forces. RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) assessed these trends and provided projections of China’s potential military expenditures through 2025..