FIRST AIRED: February 28, 2018

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Transcript

00:00:00
>>
MUSIC]
00:00:02
China may have the world's largest military, but for some it's not enough. As Beijing get's ready to release it's defense budget for the year, sources told Reuters that top brass are pushing for a big bump in spending to combat modern threats. Reuters Ben Blanchard in Beijing explains.>> At the end of the day for China what it all comes down to is the United States.
00:00:23
As far as the Chinese are concerned, the ultimate security threat, the most severe security threat for China is the United States. China looks at the South China Sea where the Americans carry out freedom of navigation patrols. China, of course, looks at threats by the US to attack North Korea.
00:00:39
So when Chinese military thinkers are planning their future strategies and where they think war might happen, the United States is always really at the forefront of their minds in terms of their security planning.>> China boosted military spending by only about 7% last year and the year before.
00:00:55
The armed forces are now lobbying for more money with a propaganda blitz. Like this viral Air Force video showcasing the country's very own stealth jet. President Xi Jinping has promised to transform the People's Liberation Army into a world-class fighting force, but it still has a ways to go.
00:01:14
>> China has been investing lots of money in stealth fighters, in submarines, in new missiles, drone technology, and of course generally also an informationized warfare. In many of these areas, the Chinese are actually making great strides and probably can already match the United States. The one area where China generally is judged to fall short is in training.
00:01:35
Chinese training of its pilots, for example, is not generally considered to be as good or as well rounded as the United States. So China may have the hardware at the moment, but it doesn't necessarily have the correct software, as it were, to be able to adequately face the United States or have superiority over the United States.
00:01:53
>> China will unveil its military spending for 2018 at the annual session of parliament, opening in Beijing next week.