Over the past several decades China has invested heavily in its military technology development and firepower. Its recent military modernization has meant a deep transformation of its offensive and defensive capabilities, and has led to China becoming a formidable military actor on both regional and international stages. China’s 2015 military expenditure was $204 billion, $215 billion for 2016, $228 billion for 2017, and is expected to grow by another 8 percent for the following year. By the end of the decade, China is expected to raise its defense budget to approximately $260 billion. China’s changing national security environment and soft rivalry with other states, foremost the United States, has led to spending surges that fuel concerns across Southeast and East Asia.