Home China Responds to Mideast Uprising with Huge Increase in Security Budget

China Responds to Mideast Uprising with Huge Increase in Security Budget

While countries as disparate as Armenia and Mauritania react to the reality of change in Tunisia and Egypt, China continues its crackdown. After blocking terms like “jasmine” (for the Jasmine Uprising) and even country names like “Egypt” from online searches, it began a campaign of arrests and harassment of protesters, and possible future protesters, in its major cities.

Now, in a material indication of its priorities, China has released its budget expenditures at the start of its new parliamentary session. For the first time, the country’s spending on internal security, including online censorship program and tools, has passed the yearly budget for the army and all other defense organization.

According to Reuters, this year’s budget on domestic security, which includes “state security, armed civil militia, courts and jails” jumped 13.8 percent to $95 billion.

The budget for China’s army, on the other hand, increased only 12.7 percent to $91.5 billion.

The power of the Jasmine Uprising in the Middle East as an example to people around the world seeking change could probably not find a better indicator than this shift in priorities for a county which is widely acknowledged as the world champion in the repression of internal dissent.

As the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Beijing Daily put it:

“Everyone knows that stability is a blessing and chaos is a calamity.”

Kimberly Smith, a University of Texas, Dallas, grad student in Emerging Media Communications, thinks this priority accurately reflects the priorities of the Chinese in general. Smith spent the last year in China studying and making iPhone documentaries.

“I attended the Internet in China Conference at Peking University last year. Several Industry representatives were in attendance, and they appeared to be united in their view: respect Party rules, period. And, because The Party views social stability as a top priority (to maintain Party control), they will do what is in their power to ensure that the country continues it’s steady, positive growth.”

Are the people the final arbiters in their governments’ choices, even if the country is not designed to reflect their choices? Are the people of China really supportive of these priorities, or is it only certain groups that benefit from these decisions?

Army photo by Schmeeve

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.