China boosts military spending

As the U.S. scales back its defense budget, China plans to boost defense spending more than 6 percent this year to $148 billion.

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The United States still vastly outspends China on defense — the 2014 Pentagon budget tops $600 billion — but China’s defense spending has continued to increase while the U.S. has been mostly flat over the past few years.

IHS Jane’s projects that China’s defense spending will increase to $148 billion in 2014, up from $139.2 billion last year, according to The New York Times.

Jane’s estimates that by next year, China’s defense spending will outpace Britain, Germany and France combined.

As sequestration has curbed projected defense spending for the Pentagon, hawkish lawmakers have cited the rise of China’s military as a key reason that the U.S. defense budget should ramp back up.

The U.S. defense budget is still more than four times larger than China's, however.