China's Defense Budget Down, Japanese Concerns Up
China’s program of military modernization will see the nation increase its defense budget by 10 percent this year, a drop of 2.2 percent on 2014.
China’s navy has commissioned a number of advanced ships and submarines over the past two years, but a lot of older vessels still need replacing.
Government spokeswoman Fu Ying said that China needs strong armed forces that can safeguard its national security and people, reports China Daily, but compared with major countries in the world, the road to China's defense modernization is difficult as the nation has to rely on its own military research in most cases.
China’s slowing economy could be the cause of the budget drop which comes at a time when Japan has actually been voicing concerns over China's military budget growth, which it said is causing instability in the region.
China, in turn, has voiced concerns about Japan’s plans to expand its military capabilities after two Japanese men were beheaded by Islamic extremists.
Yin Zhuo, director of the Expert Consultation Committee of the People's Liberation Army Navy, said that the Japanese government might use the incident to make its military expansion seem reasonable. Obviously, the United States, whose military presence around the world is waning, wants help from Japan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, local media reports him as saying.
Some of the mistrust between China and Japan dates back to the Second Sino-Japanese War (July 7, 1937 – September 9, 1945). In 1931, Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria and full-blown conflict began in 1937. Western intervention came in the form of economic sanctions against Japan which then attacked America at Pearl Harbor in 1941. After this, the war merged into the greater conflict of World War II.