Now that China has become a major economic power, it needs powerful armed forces (to match other super powers) to protect and further its economic interests and ambitions. Recently released statistics show that China spends $188 billion annually on the military, second only to that of the US. This is pushing other Asian countries to increase their 'defense' spending. Viet Nam's budget has increased 83% in the last five years, Japan's $48 billion budget is the biggest ever, expanding its main coast guard fleet from forty-one vessels to three hundred and eighty-nine. Its proximity to China and Russia is driving the spending. The capitalist class in every country needs access to raw materials and markets to gain its share of the profits. Conflict and war are inevitable at some point, as we have seen many times in the past. John Ayers.