China boosts defence budget by 7.2% amid ‘security challenges’; Where does India stand?


Image Source: AP Chinese paramilitary policemen march across Tiananmen Square near the Great Hall.

China’s Defense Budget: China, facing an economic slowdown, has announced a 7.2% increase in the defense budget this year. This major announcement comes amid the fact that Beijing is facing global challenges—whether in the Indo-Pacific region or elsewhere—where the United States is responding appropriately to its every attempt to change international settings.

In a draft budget report released on Sunday morning, it is estimated that the government led by President Xi Jinping will spend about 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion).

Notably, that’s far less than the U.S., which announced more than $800 million in spending — nearly four times what China announced on Sunday. Last year it increased the budget by 7.1%.

Citing outgoing Premier Li Keqiang, CNN reported that the minister emphasized that military spending is important for China to counter international pressure. “The armed forces must accelerate military training and readiness across the board, develop new military strategic guidance, devote more energy to training in combat situations and strengthen military operations across all directions and domains. “There must be a well-coordinated effort to do that,” CNN quoted Lee’s work report as saying. .

China’s economic growth rate is around 5%

The top economic official set this year’s growth target at “around 5%” after the end of anti-virus controls that kept millions at home and sparked protests. Growth in the world’s second-largest economy fell to 3% last year, the second-weakest level since at least the 1970s.

“We must prioritize the recovery and expansion of consumption,” Li said in a speech on government plans ahead of the formal National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.

It is worth mentioning that ever since the Kovid-19 epidemic gripped the country, China has been facing an economic recession. Later, the strict “Zero-Covid” policy further worsened the economy. Lakhs of people lost their jobs while several districts were forced to remain under strict lockdown, resulting in further frustration among citizens.

Where does India stand?

A total of US$ 550 billion (Rs 45,03,097 crore) has been envisaged in the Union Budget for FY24. The Ministry of Defense has allocated a total budget of US$ 72 billion (Rs. 5,93,537.64 crore), which is 13.18% of the total budget. According to the ministry, the total defense budget represents an increase of US$ 8.35 billion (Rs 68,371.49 crore), which is 13% higher than the 2022-23 budget.

The ministry said the increase is to boost fleet serviceability, including weapons systems, planes/aircraft and their logistics platforms, non-salary cargo/operations allocation has been increased from $7.63 billion (Rs 62,431). . crore) in the budget estimates from 2022-23 to US$11 billion (Rs. 90,000 crore) in BE 2023-24. Capital allocation related to modernization of defense services and infrastructure development has been increased to US$ 19.88 billion (Rs. 1,62,600 crore) representing an increase of 6.7% over FY23.

Also Read: China hits back at US on Covid lab leak theory: ‘Already contributed a lot to global virus tracing research’

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