According to report released Wednesday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India’s defense spending increased by 5.5 percent to $63.9 billion in 2017, surpassing that of France, giving India one of the world’s top five military budgets. Last year, the US, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia were the world’s top four military spenders.
“The Indian government plans to expand, modernize and enhance the operational capability of its armed forces, motivated at least partially by tensions with China and Pakistan,” the report read.
According to Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher for SIPRI, “tensions between China and many of its neighbors continue to drive the growth in military spending in Asia.”
The world’s top military spenders have been mostly consistent over recent years, with US and China at the top. Last year, the US spent $610 billion and China spent $228 billion, according to the SIPRI report. Beijing’s military spending is 3.6 times that of India’s.
China has declared its intention to increase military spending 8.1 percent this year as it attempts to modernize its People’s Liberation Army.
Last year, China and India saw another military stand-off at the Doklam border in the Himalayan region. Tensions have decreased since Chinese…