China Spends More on Internal Security?
Jason C Courtoy
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Studies
The Chinese spend more on internal security than defense. This statement is very truthful, yet the Chinese people are happy with the “direction of the country.” Why is this possible? Some would explain it as the results of an oppressive regime. However, this essay will explain that it is a result of the Chinese social contract; China is still a developing nation; and China’s choice of non-intervention.
The Chinese social contract is based upon economic development. The social contract of the United States is based on security of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In principal, if a government fails to agree to the social contract the people can create a new one. This is even truer in the case of the PRC. Therefore, the Chinese people care less so about the military expenditures as long as they still grow economically. The Chinese people also fear the results of the collapse of the PRC. The legend says that once a regime loses the favor of the gods, the land dissolves into regional warlords. With this in context, the Chinese see that the PRC has brought China back to greatness. It is because of this that the Chinese are happy with the direction, even if that means more internal security spending than defense.
Many in the Western world see China as an emerging superpower, but China technically is still a developing nation. This explains why they spend more on internal security than defense. China is a vast nation with many regions still not fully controlled by the PRC, both on the mainland and off. In last week’s lecture, it was stated that China’s foreign principle is to secure the mainland before involving itself abroad. Until China is fully under the control of the PRC and its rulings able to be enforced on all, internal security will be more than defense spending.
The Chinese foreign policy is one of non-intervention. From the last lecture, it is a win-win scenario. These are policies and relations that China likes. It means going into a country, say Ecuador, exchange to give them the technology to refine oil, while China gets all the oil. It is an idea of get in and get out. This allows China to keep its external military expenditures down. The US military budget is because they are involved quite extensively in the world. This calls for a massive military force, i.e. expenditures. China on the other hand, only needs to protect its borders and sphere of influence. This is a very light expenditure. If you included the policy of non-intervention, China has no need to build a military that has to secure a foreign region.