It is almost common knowledge that the Chinese empire is weaker than it looks. But here is one concrete evidence that highlights this fact. Kerry Brown of Chatham House in London provides a piercing analysis of China's overpowering weaknesses:
"One is the amount of money that’s being spent on internal security. According to its official budget, China spent about $80 billion on defence in 2009 (although the United States and others would argue that even this massive figure underestimates the true scale). But more remarkably, it spent almost as much—$75 billion—on internal security.
Keeping the lid on Xinjiang and Tibet has clearly required massive amounts of central government cash, as has policing China’s restless provinces and dealing with public unrest. Indeed, those who venture outside the grand cities of Shanghai and Beijing see a country with surprising levels of fractiousness and casual violence."
Read more here: http://youngtibet.com/2010/11/how-china-is-weaker-than-it-looks/