China's double-digit military spending increases are "sustainable" economically, write Andrew Erickson, U.S. Naval War College/Fairbank Center, Harvard University, and Adam Liff, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University. And that growth could "surge significantly in the near future if Beijing saw fit to do so." Though China's actual defense budget is almost certainly higher than its officially stated spending, the growth can't continue without cost, the authors write. "China's leaders will likely face more, potentially costly tradeoffs in sustaining rapid increases," they write.

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