Skip to content

China Is Weaker and Its Neighbors Stronger Than We Think

For two decades, China has gotten its way in almost every dispute in its neighborhood. Advancing in the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, the South China Sea, and the East China Sea, China has become the main threat across a wide arc of the Indo-Pacific. Beijing’s defense spending is now more than six times as high as it was at the start of the millennium, according to independent SIPRI estimates. Over the last two decades, China has risen from sixth in the world to second in total defense spending—a spectacular increase.

Naturally, that has China’s neighbors worried. And just as naturally, those neighbors are now stirring in response.

For the full text of this article, visit:

Published inAll ArticlesForeign Policy
Sydney-based globalization expert Salvatore Babones is available to speak on the Chinese economy (demographics, growth, technology), the Belt & Road Initiative, global trade networks, and Australia-China relations. Contact: