China Launches Weapons Acquisition Website

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China, the world’s second-largest defense spender behind the U.S., launched a website designed to modernize and provide more information about its weapons acquisitions. According to an article by the state-run news agency Xinhua:

“Under the General Armament Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), weain.mil.cn provides information on the country’s weapon and armament needs, relevant policies, procurement notices, enterprise lists and technology.”

That link didn’t work when we clicked on it. And while a cached version of the site did, it didn’t have an English translation.

Still, for Mandarin-speaking China-watchers, the website pledges to provide updated information twice a year — the first working day in January and July — “on arms purchases made in the previous months and give details of its upcoming equipment needs so that the companies can present it with their offers.”

China spent $171 billion on its military in 2013, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks global defense expenditures. It was outspent only by the U.S., which allocated $618 billion in military funding, according to the organization.

While defense spending is flattening in the U.S., it’s increasing by a much higher percentage in China. Indeed, Beijing has almost tripled its military expenditures over the past decade, according to SIPRI. (The group’s estimates for China are higher than official figures because they include additional spending on research and development, the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, military construction, pensions and arms exports.)

The funding has been used to develop such weapons as the J-20 fifth-generation fighter jet; the Dong-Feng 21D anti-ship ballistic missile; anti-satellite weaponry including the SC-19 ballistic missile; landing platform dock ships, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines; offensive cyberattack software and other so-called anti-access, anti-denial technologies.

The money has also fueled a rising defense posture that contributed to tensions in the region. China, for example, is in a territorial dispute with Japan over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea because of their potential military and economic benefits.

Unlike most other countries, China imports almost as many military goods as it exports. But that could change as it develops more advanced technology. Pakistani officials, for instance, have reportedly begun talks with their Chinese counterparts to buy the FC-31 stealth fighter jet.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • JohnnyRanger

    …and then promptly blocks it…

  • Mike Read, USMC(Ret)

    Who cares?

  • David R

    This is the start of China’s downfall! It starts with just one acquisition website, but soon they’ll have thousands, just like us. (Do some Googling, and you’ll see you’ll how .mil websites there are across just the Air Force relating to acquisition.) Then the Chinese will be bogged down by the same huge tail-to-tooth ratio that we have. ;-)

    As an aside, probably the most disheartening thing I saw during my time in the Air Force was a slideshow at a Wing awards ceremony showing all the award nominees in their individual workplaces. The slideshow probably consisted of about 70 or so individuals, each photographed in their workplace. While it showed a few people doing real stuff like turning wrenches on an aircraft, the vast majority of the uniformed people simply were shown posing in their cubicles with their flatscreen behind them. It was disheartening in showing just how many paper-pushers we have (and yes, I was one of them)…it really brought home to me our huge tail-to-tooth ratio. Yes, I realize that there is vital work that needs to be done on computers, still it was weird to see a visualization demonstrating how much of the force just stares into a computer screen all (or most of) the day.

  • Stan

    They are playing at being more open with their military expenditures. It’s probably a foreign relations move. Still wouldn’t expect them to be anywhere close to honest about their military budgets.

  • Dfens

    I blame myself for China’s great success in acquiring weapons. I should be singing the praises of our current weapons procurement system where we pay defense contractors more to fail, more to drag out development and more to jack the cost of weapons sky high, than we do if they come in on budget and on schedule. If I had never said anything, they’d stupidly follow us into that abyss. But no, I had to open my big mouth. Now we are screwed for sure. You think you’re doing your country a favor, and it’s the damn Chicoms that listen to you and your own supposedly capitalist fellow countrymen think you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Why did I ever open my big mouth? Well, at least I rest assured that we will never learn anything from the way the Chinese develop their weapons. We would, for instance, never go back to the US Navy designing their own ships, or the US Army designing their own rifles because that would be socialism and socialism is bad. Who ever heard of a capitalist country having a socialist military? That would never happen here where sound bytes are what passes for thought.

  • Peter

    Do you think the Chinese would let a project like the F-35 just run and run and use up more and more money and resources with nobody that convinced that’s it’s ever going to be that great anyway?

    If you answer no, you wouldn’t think that then we’ve already lost any chance of containing them militarily. And though our own actions, not theirs!

  • femtobeam

    Interesting that news of it follows the long overdue grand jury DOJ pdf complete with mugshots and details about the Chinese Military espionage of Westinghouse, Alcoa, US solar industry and others. This included information about nuclear facilities.
    http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/51220145…

    Secret trade agreements during the 80’s involving consumer goods, consumer electronics and the subsequent massive manufacturing monies, (including control over rare earth elements and Xenon), have resulted in China’s expenditures to create a cyberwarfare and cyberespionage capability that includes network systems and hostile takeovers of broadband end points like AMC Theaters with Sony 4K projectors. With “entertainment as a front for distributed command and control centers linked to the same network of theaters in China, the Chinese Military is now positioned on US soil, building an international broadband network on box office receipts. Nearly all of it is based on theft of technology from US entrepreneurs and companies, many of whom were sold out by intermediaries like Bain Capital. Politicians on both sides of the isle have jumped on the China profit bandwagon. Now, clearly, the future is a Cyber and New weapons escalation toward war with China and the “blueprints” and networks are increasingly in Chinese control.

    Google Ideas real time map of DDoS attacks: http://www.google.com/ideas/projects/digital-atta…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Jianlin http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-18/property…

  • Edward M. Soria

    China is not building up it’s armed forces and all the infrastructure that supports it as protection of the homeland… it will eventually use that force to conquer the world and force those that loose their markets. China has one big problem it is not capable of thinking out of the box, and has to steal technology. They are very good at stealing all kinds of information— and their biggest asset is improving the copy.
    Free nations in the west will have to modernize their strategy in engaging vast armies of from China, direct contact with the present defense will not suffice. What is needed is forward thinking on technology that is manned by superior forces and not vast confrontation like Korea and WW1.

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