China defense budget massive increase 2023 more than GDP target India LAC tension latest news
China is set to increase its defense spending by 7.2% this year, a slightly faster pace than last year’s growth and faster than the government’s estimate of modest economic growth. The national budget, which was released on Sunday, showed that 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion) was allocated for military spending. This year’s increase marks the eighth consecutive single-digit increase in defense spending.
Premier Li Keqiang urged the armed forces to increase their combat readiness, saying military operations, capacity building and combat readiness need to be “well-coordinated in accomplishing major tasks.” In his state-of-the-nation address to a largely rubber-stamp legislature, he said the armed forces needed to work towards goals for the People’s Liberation Army’s centenary in 2027.
The defense budget will be closely watched by China’s neighbors and the United States, as concerns grow over Beijing’s strategic intentions and military development, particularly as tensions rise over Taiwan. However, Beijing says its military spending is for defense purposes and a low percentage of its GDP.
Spending growth outpaces target economic growth of about 5%, slightly below last year’s target, as the world’s second-largest economy grapples with domestic crises. China’s defense budget in 2023 is about a quarter of proposed US spending, although many diplomats and foreign experts believe Beijing under-reports the actual number. The fiscal 2023 US defense budget authorizes $858 billion in military spending and includes funding for the purchase of weapons, planes and aircraft, as well as aid to Taiwan and Ukraine, which are fighting an invasion by Russia.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1: Why is the increase in the defense budget a concern for China’s neighbors and the US?
China’s neighbors and the US are concerned about Beijing’s strategic intentions and military developments, particularly as tensions over Taiwan escalate.
Q2: What is the difference between China’s reported defense budget and proposed US spending?
China’s defense budget in 2023 is about a quarter of proposed US spending, although many diplomats and foreign experts believe Beijing under-reports the actual number.
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