President Xi Jinping has ordered China's armed forces to modernise by 2035. They should, he says, become a "world-class" military power, capable of "fighting and winning wars" by 2049. It is a huge undertaking, but the country is on target. China has been criticised by some international experts for a "lack of transparency" over how much it spends on defence, and an "inconsistent reporting of figures".
Beijing does publish official spending data, but Western estimates of China's financial support for its armed forces are often significantly higher. It is widely believed that China currently spends more on its armed forces than any country except the US.