“China announced to increase its military expenditure amid slowing economic growth and increasing tensions in the Indo- Pacific region.”
As per the draft released on Sunday by the Ministry of Finance, China is set to increase defence spending this year by 7.2% to 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion). Last year China’s defence budget grew by 7.1% to 1.45 trillion yuan.
China’s take on its Military Budget
China unveiled its annual military budget draft for 2023, which will increase by 7.2% to roughly 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion) at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), on Sunday morning. The spending increase marks the second year in a row that the annual hike in military spending has exceeded 7% and tops last year’s 7.1% growth, amid rising geopolitical tensions and the regional arms race.
The GDP target and military spending are among the most closely watched in the opening day proceedings, with the GDP target figure being monitored this year as China emerges from its economically draining zero-Covid policy. Experts said that the defence budget boost is reasonable due to the country’s military modernization roadmap and the growing security threats in the world.
“China’s economy is staging a steady recovery and demonstrating vast potential and momentum for further growth. Armed forces should intensify military training and preparedness across the board, develop new military strategic guidance, devote greater energy to training under combat conditions and make well-coordinated efforts to strengthen military work in all directions and domains,”
outgoing Premier Li Keqiang told delegates while delivering a government work report at the opening of the congress on Sunday.
It is part of the country’s efforts to meet the need of modernizing its national defence in order to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests facing external threats and instabilities.
Marking a single-digit growth for the defence budget for the eighth consecutive year since 2016, China maintains a steadily increasing pace since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020. The growth rate was 6.6 per cent in 2020, 6.8 per cent in 2021 and 7.1 per cent in 2022.
From India’s point of view
China’s defence budget continued to be over three times higher. India’s defence budget for 2023-24 amounted to Rs 5.94 lakh crore (about USD 72.6 billion) which is comparatively less than the new budget proposed by China amid the tensions between the two countries.
Follow For More:@Dissenttimes.