The world has seen plenty of evidence this decade of the swing in Chinese defense policy from manpower-heavy to equipment-heavy spending. Now Beijing is quantifying what it has done. The share of defense funding allocated to equipment rose relentlessly to a record level of 41.3% of spending in 2016 from 33.2% in 2010, according to figures revealed in a July 24 white paper.  A drop to 41.1% in 2017 may indicate that an approximate long-term level has been reached. Yet that modernization ...

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