Chinese military’s unlimited budget

Hypersonic Plane
Hypersonic Plane

On March 7, Isaac Stone Fish, a well experienced journalist on China, expressed his frustration about the mysteries of Chinese military in his article “The Black Box of China’s Military”.

Such frustration is common among people, not only outside, but also inside China.

In the expanded second edition of my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements,” soon to be on sale at to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Protests, there is the section titled “Looking through the Black Box,” excerpts of which are given below:

“There is a way to look through the black box. We can judge the events taking place in the black box in secret by the circumstances and happenings before and after an event.

“In fact, keeping information about power center secret is not merely CCP’s modern practice. It was also a practice in feudal courts. Still we Chinese have been able to write thousands of years of Chinese history in details including some real mysteries.

“We have the well-known saying about palace coups “Sound of ax and shadows in candlelight, eternal mystery.” It is a saying about palace coups originated from the abnormal death of Emperor Taizu (927-976) of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and his succession by his brother instead of his son. People heard sound of ax and saw shadows in candle light the night the emperor suddenly died when only the emperor and his brother were in the room.

“The murder is certainly not found in official historical record as no one dared to accuse the emperor who succeeded Emperor Taizu, of murder. The murder was revealed in unofficial history that records what happened before and after the emperor’s death.

“Upon comprehensive logical analysis of Emperor Taizu’s health conditions before his death, his young age of 50, his unexpected sudden death, the abnormal succession by his brother and the abnormal death of Emperor Taizu’s sons under Emperor Taizu’s brother’s reign, we can safely believe that Emperor Taizu was murdered by his brother.

“We make comprehensive logical analysis of all the circumstances and happenings before and after the event and people’s characters and will thus be able to break the mystery in the black box. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is at least reasonable, logical and believable.

“Certainly, I hope there will be later memoirs to provide accurate information about the event, but the probability of the emergence of a reliable relevant memoir is small. Therefore, without such relevant memoir to provide a true record of the event, we have to be satisfied with rational, logical and believable analysis based on facts. However, even without such a memoir sometimes, such rational, logical and believable speculation based on facts may be proved by later development.

“As mentioned above, what I said about Xi Jinping being selected by Jiang Zemin was speculation, but it was based on reasonable and logical analysis. Now, it has been proved by Jiang’s support for Xi with his decision on punishing Bo Xilai harshly and his selection of five protégés as PSC members who will retire at the next CCP congress so as to allow Xi to choose their replacement in 2017 and by what Xi has done since he took over.”

Note: Since Jiang’s retirement, he has always controlled the PSC (Politburo Standing Committee) through his protégés who have a majority in the PSC. At the end of each five-year term of the PSC, there are always some of Jiang’s protégés who have not reached the age of retirement and will continue to be members in the next PSC. This time is exceptional. All his protégés in the PSC will retire when the term of the PSC ends in 2017.

Using this method, we can see through the black box of Chinese military and answer the two questions raised by Isaac Stone Fish in his article:

1. How much is China’s military budget? And

2. What is Xi Jinping’s control over Chinese military?

I will deal with the first question here and leave the second question to my post tomorrow.

First, we can see that China is an autocracy instead of a democracy like the United States. How much Chinese military spends does not require the approval of the NPC (National People’s Congress), China’s parliament. According to the Chinese Constitution, the NPC has supreme power, but in fact, it is only a rubber stamp that will approve everything the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) tells it to approve.

Therefore, China’s military budget does not restrict Chinese military spending like the US budget does. The budget figure is a carefully determined figure to please the Chinese people, and ease other countries’ concerns.

How much is Chinese military actually allowed to spend?

There is no limit! It can spend as much as it needs and China can afford.

Does this mean that it can spend at will? No, it has to obtain approval from the top leader before it can get funds from China’s exchequer.

We then touch the second question. Who is the top leader that controls both the exchequer and the Chinese military? Is it Xi Jinping? No. It is the core (the term used by Deng Xiaoping) or paramount leader (the term used outside China) of the CCP’s collective leadership.

Here we have to be clear that China’s current political system is the CCP Dynasty, with a core like an emperor. The core now is Jiang Zemin, and Xi Jinping has been selected by Jiang as his successor. You may find detailed description in my book.

How much is the Chinese military actually spending? I can safely say, it spends more than the US military, as proved by the large number of expensive projects it is carrying out.

China is implementing an expensive lunar program, from which the PLA (Chinese military) has drawn the technology of its anti-satellite (ASAT) technology: including hitting a satellite, rendezvousing with a satellite to blind it with spray, capturing a satellite by the robotic arm of a Chinese anti-satellite satellite and destroying the internal chip of a satellite with electromagnetic pulse weapon, its ASAT defence capability (the ASAT quick response capability), airospaceplanes such as Shenlong drone and J-28 space-air fighter, HGV (hypersonic glide vehicle) and anti-ICBM missile.

For its air force, it is developing quite a few stealth aircrafts including J-20, J-31 stealth fighter jets, J-18 VTOL stealth fighter jet, the most advanced AEW&C able to detect stealth fighters and long-range strategic stealth bomber.

For its navy, it is producing the most advanced nuclear and conventional submarines, many advanced 052D Aegis destroyers and 056 frigates, and huge 081 and 071 landing platform docks, which may serve as aircraft carriers if China successfully develops its J-18 VTOL fighter jets.

Chinese military has all the projects the US military has, except the most advanced Ford class aircraft carrier. However the proposed US Air-Sea Battle by its navy equipped with aircraft carriers was what it was engaged when fighting Japan in the 1940s. Don’t you think it is outdated now in our space era?

What Xi Jiping wants is integrated space and air capabilities for our space era. China is spending more in acquiring such capabilities than building advanced aircraft carriers. I am writing a book to describe that in details, and plan to publish it within three months with the title “The Winning Strategy.”

All the above is what we know from public sources. There are many secret projects that outsiders have no source of information. Based on Chinese military’s activities revealed from the information in the public domain, we see that the Chinese military is now spending more than US military.

The question of how Jiang Zeming has gained and Xi Jinping is gaining control of the Chinese military will be answered in my post tomorrow.


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Categories: Defence & Aerospace

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12 replies


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