Analysts: China could match U.S. military power in 15-20 years

According to the report, the United States spent $693 billion on defence in 2010 — 4.7 percent of its GDP — compared to China’s $76 billion (1.3 percent/GDP) and Britain’s 57 billion dollars (2.5 percent/GDP).

Speaking to Reuters after the report launch, Chipman said if current trends were continued it would still take 15-20 years for China to achieve military parity with the U.S.

“We’re talking about half a generation,” he said. “The United States has always said it would never let another power get to parity so in the next few years it is going to have to make some very significant decisions on what it does.”

In the shorter term, he said much of the equipment China was aiming to acquire such as the submarines and anti-ship missiles was designed to dent the dominance of U.S. aircraft carriers in nearby waters particularly the Taiwan Strait.