India and China were among the five biggest military spenders which together accounted for 60 percent of the total global defense expenditure of USD 1.739 trillion in 2017, a Swedish arms watchdog said.
In a report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said China’s military expenditure rose again in 2017, continuing an upward trend that has lasted for more than two decades.
According to the arms watchdog, the five top military spenders in 2017 were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and India.
It said the total global military spending rose to USD 1.739 trillion which is an increase of 1.1 percent compared to the expenditure in 2016.
The report said that China’s military spending, at an estimated USD 228 billion, accounted for 48 percent of the total defense spending in the Asia and Oceania region, and was 3.6 times that of the region’s second-largest spender, India.
India spent USD 63.9 billion on its military in 2017, an increase of 5.5 percent compared with 2016 and of 45 percent since 2008.
According to the report, China’s spending as a share of world military expenditure has risen from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2017.
At USD 610 billion, the US military spending accounted for more than a third of the world total in 2017. The US’ spending was 2.7 times greater than the next highest spender, China, it said.
SIPRI said the US military spending was unchanged between 2016 and 2017.
On the other hand, Russia’s military spending fell for the first time since 1998, the report said, adding that the total global expenditure of 1.739 trillion was an increase of 1.1 percent in real terms compared to the spending in 2016.
At USD 66.3 billion, Russia’s military spending in 2017 was 20 percent lower than in 2016, the first annual decrease since 1998.
Many European states are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and, within that framework, have agreed to increase their military spending.
The arms watchdog said total military spending by all 29 NATO members was USD 900 billion in 2017, accounting for 52 percent of world spending.
The total global military expenditure accounted for 2.2 percent of global gross domestic product in 2017, the report said.
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