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Expert Comments

Syria’s chemical weapons and protection against their use: a brief overview

Dr John Hart

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.

5 Mar. 2012: China increases defence budget for 2012 by 11.2% to 670.3 billion Yuan

Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman

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.