Photos put China’s ‘galloping military buildup’ on vivid display

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By Richard Fisher, Geostrategy-Direct

China’s military spending for 2019 will increase by 7.5 percent to about $177.61 billion, as revealed on March 3, 2019 by an official at Chinese Communist Party’s annual National People’s Consultative Congress.

Aerial image of the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.

This figure, while lower than the 8.1 percent for 2018, is greater than the announced 6 to 6.5 percent expected growth in China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Such official figures, however, have long failed to reflect the totality of China’s annual military spending, as a great portion of many other budgets, such as education, basic science and infrastructure, are structured to support modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Nevertheless, China’s galloping military buildup is on vivid display.

On March 10, the Russian website “LiveJournal” published a Chinese-source aerial image of the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, that it said revealed 15 modern destroyers and one aircraft carrier in different stages of construction.

The PLA Navy (PLAN) has about 25 modern destroyers in service, so this one photo shows an increase in modern destroyers of about 60 percent.

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