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Largest oil importer, China raises defence budget

March 6, 2013

india china militaryA fragile relationship is back on tender hooks after China increased her defence budget to over 720 billion Yuan or more than US$115 billion, three times neighbouring India’s defence allocation of US$37 billion (or Rs. 2 lakh crore). In a greater show of might, and more worry to the global oil game, China also recently overtook America as the world’s largest net importer of oil. A generational shift that will shake up the geopolitics of natural resources, international diplomacy and a country’s influence over others China has played her cards well.

According to the Financial Times, US net oil imports dropped to 5.98m barrels a day in December, the lowest since February 1992, according to provisional figures from the US Energy Information Administration. In the same month, China’s net oil imports surged to 6.12m b/d, according to Chinese customs. The US has been the world’s largest net importer of oil since the mid-1970s, shaping Washington’s foreign policy towards energy-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Venezuela.

Military might coupled with oil control, will give China a greater role, power and influence over geopolitics, shipping lanes, trade, finances and international relations. Her foreign policy which trumps India’s that is more socialist and inward looking, has helped the country gain international recognition through economic domination.

With tensions abreast on all corners of China, as well as social unrest within the rapidly developing nation, China needs to maintain equality and  peace on all fronts. With Xi Jinping taking over from Wen Jiabao this week, expressing concern over the state of Chinese growth and economy, analysts expect subtler times in store for China. The nation state is expected to control fires burning within the country while quelling disputes over land and sea.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is no stranger to high-tech domestically built military artillery, one of the largest employers worldwide after the Indian railways, the PLA is well armed for conflict. Fearing China’s rising might, India and American both currently have raised antennae’s for information leaks on China’s plan for dominance, until then her neighbours can only better relations with China.

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