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Global military spending hit record levels

By The Hindu

Global military spending, driven in part by Chinese naval expansion, reached record levels in 2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic contraction, a British think-tank said on Thursday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said military spending reached $1.8 trillion last year — a 3.9% increase in real terms over figures for 2019. The U.S. remained the world’s largest defence spender in 2020, IISS said, accounting for 40% of $738 billion globally.

China, by comparison, accounted for 10.6 percent or $193.3 billion.

Beijing’s military spending was the driving force behind growth in Asia’s overall defence expenditure, and accounted for 25% of the continent’s spending in 2020.

The IISS also highlighted Chinese military expansion and the significant growth of its naval fleet, a response driven in part by to Beijing’s ambitions in the South China Sea.

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