This article examines perceptions of military and defense expenditure as held by Asian students. By using quantitative data from the Asian Student Survey1 of 2008 it addresses the following questions: to which areas would Asian students like to see their government allocate more or less resources and, specifically, how supportive of defense and military spending are Asian students. This study finds that data concerning one country have appeared deviant. While designating the strongest will to increase defense and military spending among all countries sampled in the survey, Chinese students from leading universities (N = 800; Pekin and Renmin universities in Beijing; Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong university) also exhibit the lowest levels of perceived military threats. The rest of the paper explores the ‘puzzle’ of Chinese students by generating and testing a null hypothesis. In it, Chinese students' high demand for military spending is associated with an aggressive design, whereby anti-foreign, unilateral, and nationalist sentiments coincide. After refuting the null hypothesis, the paper advances an alternative explanation that links students' inclination with the call to modernize the People's Liberation Army.