China raises defence budget by 7.2%

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
China's National Flag

China will raise its budget on defence by 7.2% this year in a bid to enhance preparedness and build the nation’s security capacity.


Reuters reported that the increase is slightly more than that of last year at the same time faster than the government’s modest economic growth forecast.


It was also raised owing to the Prime Minister, Li Keqiang’s call for the armed forces to enhance combat preparedness.


The country’s national budget released on Sunday showed that 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion) was budgeted for military spending.


Meanwhile, some countries including the United States, who are concerned by the country’s military development strategies are closely monitoring.


Li said in his work report to the annual session of parliament, “military operations, capacity building and combat preparedness should be well-coordinated in fulfilling major tasks.”


Also, in his state-of-the-nation address to the largely rubber-stamp legislature, the Prime Minister said, “Our armed forces, with a focus on the goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in 2027, should work to carry out military operations, boost combat preparedness and enhance military capabilities.”


Reuters reported the year’s increase in defence spending is the eighth consecutive single-digit increase.


It was also reported that just like last year, the breakdown of the overall spending was not given.


According to Reuters, an associate professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, Li Mingjiang, said the reason for the hike in defence budget could have been because the country is facing increased pressure from the United States and on the Taiwan issue.


In his words, “Chinese leaders are clearly intensifying efforts to prepare the country militarily to meet all potential security challenges, including unexpected situations.”

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