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    Global Military Spending Hits Record High Amid Ongoing International Conflicts

    In the face of continuous international crises, it is unsurprising that the world’s top military spenders— the United States, China, and Russia—have significantly increased their military budgets once again. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), military expenditures surged by nearly seven percent in 2023, reaching a new record high.

    The global increase in military spending, the first since 2009, encompasses Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and both North and South America. SIPRI was particularly taken aback by the largest percentage increases observed in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is still grappling with prolonged conflict between the government and various armed groups. Additionally, the use of the military to combat organized crime and gang violence in nations such as Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Brazil has also contributed to this rise.

    At the heart of the attention remains the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s military spending has soared to its highest level since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, while Ukraine faces a statistically and proportionally heavier burden due to the ongoing war. A notable increase in defense spending has also been observed among NATO countries, with a record number of members achieving their spending targets.

    In response to tensions around Taiwan, military expenditures have also increased significantly in Asia and Oceania. China raised its military budget by another six percent from the previous year to $296 billion, accounting for half of the total spending in the Asia and Oceania region. In response, Japan and Taiwan have each boosted their military budgets by eleven percent, to $50.2 billion and $16.6 billion respectively.

    As military security becomes a growing priority, worldwide military spending continues to rise. Conflicts in the Middle East have further escalated these expenditures. Experts are calling for controlled growth in armaments to prevent further conflict escalation. Despite hopes for negotiations between the U.S. and China over the Chinese-Taiwanese conflict, the current political situation both in this region and globally remains tense.

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