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Asian Defence Spending Increases By More Than 50% In 10 Years, Report Says

The International Institute for Strategic Studies study suggests 2019 saw the largest yearly global defence-spending rise in a decade.

Defence spending in Asia has risen by more than 50% in the last 10 years, new figures suggest.

According to a report by the International Institue for Strategic Studies (IISS), Asian defence expenditure increased from $275 billion in 2010 to $423 billion in 2019 in "real terms".

The report said this increase was as a result of Asian countries' "economic success in recent years". 

The figures, published in The Military Balance 2020 book, were released at the Munich Security Conference on Friday. 

According to the report, 2019 also saw the largest year-on-year increase in global defence expenditure in the past decade.

The Global Picture

In 2019, global defence spending rose by 4% from 2018, according to the data.

The figures also suggest defence spending in Europe peaked at levels unseen since the financial crisis - an increase of 4.2% compared to 2018.

Chinese Frigate Weifang 290919 CREDIT PA
China increased defence spending by 6.6% in 2019 (Picture: PA).

In the United States and China, the 2019 increase was 6.6%, however, both nations demonstrate different trends.

The research suggests the defence spending growth is "accelerating" in the US, whilst it is "slowing" in China.

Despite the same increase, the US still spent $500bn more than China in 2019, according to the figures.

In 2019, the US was the world's biggest defence spender, spending $684.6bn.

Meanwhile, China was ranked second with a spend of $181.1bn.

The UK ($54.8bn) was named the world's sixth-highest defence spender, while NATO allies France, Germany and Italy were all placed in the top 12.

Last year, IISS reported that global defence spending had risen by nearly 2% in 2018

Cover Image: Training for a military parade in China (Picture: PA).