In 2014, China reported a military budget of $132 billion — meaning the People’s Republic could be spending about $84 billion without public or even intra-governmental disclosure.
That’s a huge amount of unaccountable military spending. It’s a total that outstrips the annual federal budget of Malaysia, a country with a population of over 30 million people.
“There are substantial off-budget military expenses, including expenses for strategic forces, foreign acquisitions, military R&D, and China’s paramilitary forces,” TI researches wrote in the report detailing military corruption around the world. “In the 1990’s the [People’s Liberation Army’s] own economic activities provided revenue that was also used to fund illicit activities — smuggling, prostitution, non-registered businesses.”