Middle East

BEIJING // Did the coming out party for China’s first aircraft carrier symbolise the rise of the world’s next superpower?

It depends. Like the country, the answer is complicated.

After two decades of nearly constant double-digit increases in military budgets that have seen the country invest in a dizzying array of hardware, from new submarines to latest-generation cruise and ballistic missiles,China now spends more on defence than any nation except the United States.

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