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International relations

Asia's military spending up 2.8% in 2021, bucking 1.8% global drop

Growth slows in region, but expenditures 'resilient' to economic squeeze

TOKYO -- Military spending in Asia rose 2.8% in 2021 versus the previous year, compared with an inflation-adjusted decline of 1.8% worldwide, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said in its latest edition of "Military Balance" published Monday.

The growth of defense spending in Asia, of which China accounts for 43% of the total, slowed last year from 3.4% in 2020 and 5.3% in 2019, but showed "the resilience of defense spending to wider economic pressures," the report by the U.K. think tank said. Total expenditures in the region came to $488 billion in 2021, more than double the 2008 figure of $226 billion.

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