China wants to develop a “world class” military force that can “fight and win wars” by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. So it comes as little surprise that the defense budget just got another boost. Military spending will rise by 8.1 percent this year. What’s behind this figure and China’s military modernization drive? Why is the PLA projecting power well beyond Chinese borders? And why are we going to see a lot more PLA activities on the global stage in the future? MERICS research associate Helena Legarda discusses the 2018 military budget and China’s strategies in the new MERICS Experts podcast.