BEIJING : China on Saturday announced it will increase its defence spending by around 7% this year, the slowest hike since 2010, even as it vowed to guard against “outside forces” interfering in its territorial disputes.
[alert type=”e.g. warning, danger, success, info” title=””] The exact figure for this year’s defence budget will be announced in Premier Li Keqiang’s work report to NPC on Sunday [/alert]
The increase in defence spending announced by Fu Ying, spokesperson of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), is expected to take the country’s defence budget to about 1.02 trillion yuan, which is three times bigger than India’s new defence budget of $53.5 billion.
The exact figure for this year’s defence budget will be announced in Premier Li Keqiang’s work report to the NPC on Sunday when China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament begins its annual session.
The nearly 7% increase could be China’s slowest defence budget rise in at least a decade, marking the second time for the defence budget increase to dip into the single digit since 2010, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Last year, China increased its defence spending by 7.6%, allocating about 954 billion yuan (around $143.7 billion). A year before that, China increased the defence spending by about 15% as part of its efforts to modernise the world’s largest military of 2.3 million troops.
China’s announcement to increase defence spending comes after US President Donald Trump vowed a 10% increase in America’s military spending of about $600 billion.
Much of China’s budget this year was expected to go for the development of navy as the second largest economy looks to expand its influence beyond its shores. PTI