Fravel, Gilboy, Heginbotham: Estimating China’s Defense Spending: How to Get It Wrong (and Right) | 2024 | News

Estimating China’s Defense Spending: How to Get It Wrong (and Right)
M. Taylor Fravel, George J. Gilboy, Eric Heginbotham | Texas National Security Review
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SSP Director M. Taylor Fravel and Principal Research Scientist Eric Heginbotham published an article on China's defense spending in Texas National Security Review with George J. Gilboy. 





"China’s defense spending is opaque, and China spends more on defense than its official 2024 defense budget of 1.67 trillion yuan ($232 billion) indicates. Some analysts claim China’s defense spending is equivalent to $700 billion, approaching the level of the U.S. defense budget. These estimates mistakenly exaggerate China’s spending. They rely on unbalanced accounting for so-called off-budget expenditures and employ flawed purchasing power parity methods. We explain these flaws and offer a novel method for a more accurate assessment. According to our calculation, China will spend an estimated $471 billion on defense in 2024, or around 36 percent of comparable U.S. defense spending of about $1.3 trillion in 2024. A better understanding of Chinese defense spending enables U.S. policymakers and military planners to make more informed resourcing and allocation decisions while reducing the likelihood of overreaction and miscalculation."

To read the full article