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The statement to the London Stock Exchange made on 12 September 2012 by BAE Systems and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) on the subject of a proposed merger of the two companies raises a number of interesting questions within the context of the world arms and military services industry.
The escalation of the current conflict in Syria gives greater impetus to efforts to determine the fate of Syria's weapon programmes and, in particular, its reported stocks of chemical weapons.
This increase continues the long-term rise in China's military spending, in line with its rapid economic growth. However, given China's relatively high inflation, which was 4.5% in February, it is likely that the real increase will be below China's GDP growth rate for the third year running. It would seem that the USA's increased military focus on the Asia–Pacific and recent tensions over the South China Sea have not led to any new or unexpected acceleration of China's military spending trend.