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China to increase military budget by 7.1 per cent

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 March 2022, 10:12 IST
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China is going to increase its military budget by 7.1 per cent to USD 229.5 billion in 2022 according to the draft budgetary proposals released on Saturday.

The draft budget was released at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

"The main expenditures budgeted at the central level include the following: 1.45045 trillion yuan [USD 229.5 billion] on national defence, up 7.1 per cent," the draft budget read.

Another government report said that the country would boost military education and combat training in 2022.

China has the world's second-highest military budget after the United States and is investing in long-range, nuclear-capable missiles and other weapons to extend power beyond its shores, Washington Post said.

In March 2021, China had announced a defence budget of 1.35 trillion yuan (USD 209 billion), a 6.8 per cent increase, higher than the 6.6 per cent enhancement in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted China's economic growth in both years, reported Global Times.

The money will be used to boost the modernization of the Chinese military, including procuring and commissioning more advanced weapons and equipment in terms of both quality and quantity, strengthening the realistic combat-oriented training, and the welfare of military personnel, the report said citing experts.

Analysts and observers had earlier predicted the rise in military spending given the uncertain geopolitical environment in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. China in the past few years has been at loggerheads with the US over Taiwan, South-East Asian countries over the South China Sea and India over the Himalayan borders.

"I estimate this year's GDP growth not to be as high as last year's 8.1 per cent, and the target will likely be put at 5 to 6 per cent. But there is no way China will cut its military budget growth. On the contrary, I think it should be higher than last year's," Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert was quoted by Global Times.

The communique of the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held in Beijing in October 2020, stated that "making significant strides in the modernization of national defence and armed forces in the next five years" is one of the main goals for the development of the economy and society in the 14th Five-Year Plan.


First published: 5 March 2022, 10:12 IST