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International relations

China and Asia-Pacific fuel global military spending binge

Beijing's buildup spurs neighbors to follow, while Trump urges increases by West

China's first homegrown aircraft carrier leaves a port in Dalian on May 13.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Military buildups by China and its neighbors have played an outsize role in lifting global defense spending well past levels seen a decade ago.

Defense spending last year reached $1.74 trillion worldwide, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates. The total has climbed 9.8% since 2008, driven largely by the world's second-largest military in China.

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