mandag 8. mai 2023

Asia’s arms race: potential flashpoints from Taiwan to the South China Sea

Global militarisation has increased rapidly over the course of the 21st century, with a clear recalibration towards the Asia Pacific. Between 2000 and 2021, annual military spending increased from $1.12trn (in 2020 dollar terms) to $2.11trn. In that time, the share of global defence spending in Asia and Oceania increased from 18% to 28%, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Growing concerns over China, whose defence spending has increased steadily for nearly three decades, has fuelled an arms race across the region, upending decades-long regional conventions and revealing several potential flashpoints. The biggest concern about China’s military expansion is how it ties in to plans to annex Taiwan. The risk of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is the highest it’s been in decades, but predictions of when it might happen vary.