05 May 2016
As China and India compete for regional great-power status, their respective defence industries play a key role. China appears to have had more success in modernising its arms industry, by introducing more free-market reforms than India has.
“Rich nation, strong army,” was the adage that drove Japanese modernisation – both civilian and military – in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today it is a rallying cry for other Asian countries seeking great-nation status. A corollary to this saying might be that “great nations have great arms industries.”
China and India share this outsized ambition to be a “great power” in Asia, if not the most powerful. The two countries have, respectively, the largest and second-largest militaries in Asia, as well as the highest and second-highest defense budgets. And both have huge domestic defense industries, dedicated to providing their armed forces with the best weapons possible.
… Richard A. Bitzinger is a Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This Commentary is based on a recent article by the author that appeared in Asia Times.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 09/05/2016