"Hello and welcome to the intelligence on economist radio. I'm your host. Jason Palmer every weekday. We provide a fresh perspective on the events shaping your world. The first of may brings out protesters all over the globe campaigning for better labor conditions. But in France weekly demonstrations by the so-called issue lay zone have been going on for months. Yesterday's mayday gatherings. Brought out a violent fringe that threatens the Jones message and president of annual Macron's attempts to address it. And we take a look at a new study that tries to measure, which English speaking country produces the most bullshit. But I. Last week. China's navy celebrated its seventieth birthday in grand style. As president Xi Jinping peered through binoculars into rain and mist a flotilla swept through the South China Sea. Nine. Winds there. What this moving you. Rose of white clouds, sailors stood on worships and saluted Mr. g who was aboard a brand new destroyer China has also boasted of its nuclear submarines and says it's building a new aircraft carrier America sees China as a growing rival, not just a military threat, but also economic one and the contest is being felt by America's closest allies in Britain yesterday. Gavin Williamson the Defense Secretary was fired by Prime Minister, Theresa may. He was accused of leaking details of how the country plans to let hallway a Chinese tech firm. Build part of its future five g mobile phone network. In response to that plan. America has threatened to cut back intelligence sharing with Britain. Beyond this America and China are leading the world in rearmament race. As a new report makes clear essentially the will to spending enormous sums of money on defense. Shizhong Joshi is economists defense editor this is the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research institute Cypriots Swedish thing Tang, and what it says this year is that global defense spending in twenty eight teen walls one point eight trillion dollars. Now, obviously that's a loss of money to put it in context of just how much it's the highest amount in real terms since sippy began this exercise in nineteen eighty eight and collecting these figures the end of the Cold War. It is seventy six percent higher than nine hundred ninety eight which was the peak of the post Cold War peace dividend when western countries began slashing on forces slashing spending. So you can see just how far we've come in the last twenty years. Also, just how much things have changed geopolitically and who's spending this one point eight trillion dollars, well essentially to. Countries are spending a leading the charge. That's America and China surprisingly America is heading shoulders above everyone else. It will spend about seven hundred sixteen billion dollars this year. That's significant increase from last year it out spends the next eight or so countries combined which gives you a sense of just how far ahead it is. Now, China is well behind spends a fraction of that. But it's military spending growing very quickly. It grew at an average of ten percent every year between two thousand and 2016 between two thousand fourteen in two thousand eighteen churned out. More ships ships with greater tonnage than the entire Indian Japanese navy. So that gives you a sense of just how rapidly they growing. And is this grew spread also among other nations or only American to the growing. It is great will that's provoking response. Particularly in Asia in Asia, for example, with seeing huge spurts among other countries. India for example, now. Spends more than any country in Europe. And I think Indians very proud of the fact that they are outspending not only countries like France, Germany, but also their old, colonial master Britain. Modern and invincible. Of whom stupefaction? Residency is Joel Indian skies ever own words. But Asia, Shirley, isn't the only place where governments want to to be up their defenses. No on Marshall Europeans. Have also been tooling up in recent years. They're obviously very worried by Russia, particularly after Russia's annexation of Crimea in two thousand fourteen they've been spending substantial amounts of quite quickly. If you're one single country its military spending would be four times that have Russia. In fact, it would be the second biggest military power in the world. So back to China, which has been spending money hand over fist as you say. But the their capabilities are still much much weaker compared to America's is there. Some sense of of when China might sort of outpace America will it'll be many many years before it can actually equal American spending. But I would say China gets to concentrate most of its military forces in its front garden in the western Pacific America has global commitments. So could we have a situation where Chinese forces in Asia? Outmatch American forces. Absolutely. We could have that very soon. Indeed. Depending on what America does depending on how China stretches capabilities so beyond America, China is is there anywhere where this would've frenzy of military spending. We'll kind of change the league table. I think we've seen a few changes taking place to Saudi Arabians in the Middle East have been spending huge amounts in the past ten years to the point where they are. Now, the third biggest spender in the world that obviously is going to have a major impact on the Middle East. If you look at Turkey, I think they've also been on a spending spree, and I think in Europe, one of the most interesting countries in eastern Europe, which of course, it's closer to Russia more about Russia's influence, and that's Poland. Police spending has been rising very quickly. They've been buying lots of American weapons, including an American Ed defense system, and they have been at the vanguard of some of this military spending spree in central and eastern Europe that we've seen in recent years. So looking at all these numbers is it's a global trend is everyone spending more. No, I think there's some pretty interesting places. West bending is is shrinking stagnating. The first example is the Middle East. Having said that Saudi Arabia. It was on this spending spree for the last ten years that slowing down. Sippy says that military spending the Middle East shrank by one point eight percent. In two thousand eighteen Saudi Arabia is planning on cutting spending after a number of years of growth, Iran is planning on cutting spending. Although we we don't have data for a few big countries like the United Arab Emirates and Casio. I think Africa's another good example military spending in Africa in two thousand eighteen shrink for the fourth consecutive year. And of course, as we know they're they're big protests in ALgeria and Sudan the military's under pressure from protesters to give way to civilians that could have an impact on on military budgets. I think finally the one I'd like to mention which is really interesting is Russia. Russia has modernized its armed forces over the last decade invested in lots of shiny new weapons. Sippy now says that his slowing. Down at that that boom in Russia is coming to an end. It's calculation say military spending in Russia shrunk by three and a half percent last year. Okay. Some of that could be to do with the fall of the ruble. This little probably spending a lot in ruble, terms. But I think what we all seeing is that the years of Russia plowing money into its military driven by oil that is slowly coming to an end, and that will have an impact, of course, on the European military balance. I mean, it's it's tempting to imagine that more spending on arms makes conflict more likely. There's just simply more more guns and weapons in more hands. What's your take on the Wilbur one really gave us a strong association between alms racing and conflict? We thought the Germans and the British and others competing supremacy. In your building up ships building up weapons and that played a role in contributing to willed, we'll one I think the political science the sort of social science around. This is a bit more complicated. I don't think there is necessarily clear connection between rapid arms racing. And outright conflict. Some people would say actually countries build up weapons, they feel they can deter their adversaries, they feel more secure. They don't feel the need to be vulnerable into lash out. So the association is complicated. What I would say is. I think there's a kind of cycle relationship between mistrust and building homes, the more countries don't trust each other like the US and China over China's island building and in competition in Asia, the more they build up weapons to prepare for the possibility of a clash the more. They build up weapons the less they trust each other. Thank you very much for coming in. Thank you very much."