On March 5, during the opening of the National People’s Congress, China’s annual parliament, Beijing announced it plans to spend U.S.$175 billion on its military in 2018, an 8.1 percent rise from 2017. China’s military budget is the world’s second highest, and roughly a quarter of what the United States spends. What message does Beijing’s new military budget figure send to the United States, and to China’s neighbors? How will the United States and China’s neighbors react to this move? And just how accurate of a number is the one that Beijing publicly reveals?

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