Is There an Arms Race in Asia?
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Is there a decline in US military might? Is there an upsurge in China's role in this region, particularly regarding escalation in the South China Sea? Dr Tim Huxley of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) strikes a chord with these seminal questions. He further points out that China, India and Vietnam are all experiencing an epic boom in defence spending and military power. Well-equipped armed forces are seen as intimately connected to the idea of creating developed and modern statehood and national sovereignty. India, Pakistan and Thailand all suffer from internal disputes and political undercurrents and tensions between Southeast Asia states has also surfaced more often in recent events. Defence spending is seen as the root of the issue, but also as an answer to an amorphous and threatening question - the question of regional survival.