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Theory and practice-a comparative look at China's new defence White Paper

By Andrew Davies and Andrew Rothe

Earlier this year China released a new defence White Paper.

Like its predecessor two years ago, the paper leaves much unsaid – especially about China’s maritime aspirations beyond its immediate waters.

In contrast, the equivalent American document sets out a consistent picture of American aspirations, strategy and capability. By comparing the Chinese military budget with those of the US and its allies, it is clear that China is unlikely to be a peer competitor on the wider stage any time soon.