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China has already won Asia's arms race

Regional powers must act to curtail Beijing's military supremacy

| China
Philippine Marines wave during a resupply at their military outpost, the BRP Sierra Madre, a marooned transport ship in the South China Sea in March 2014: Asian countries' militaries are chronically underfunded.   © Reuters

William Bratton is author of "China's Rise, Asia's Decline." He was previously head of equity research, Asia-Pacific at HSBC.

There has been much chatter over recent years about an Asian arms race triggered by China's surging military expenditure. This, it is argued, is reflected in increased defense budgets and new equipment programs announced by a number of Asian countries.

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