China said it would raise its Defence Budget spending by 7.2 percent in 2023, compared with 7.1 percent last year.
According to details Chinese government going to increase its Defence budget as its outgoing premier warned of growing “external” threats to Beijing’s rise.
The country will spend 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion) on defence this year, according to a report by the Ministry of Finance published on the opening day of the annual session of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament.
The increase is a shade higher than last year and broadly in line with the general pace of annual growth, but exceeds the annual GDP growth target of around five percent announced in a separate report.
Remember that Beijing’s military budget is the second-largest in the world after the United States and last year stood at 1.45 trillion yuan ($210 billion), though many overseas analysts say much more money is spent than the officially announced sums.
Beijing is nervous about challenges on fronts ranging from Chinese-claimed Taiwan to US naval and air missions in the disputed South China Sea near Chinese-occupied islands.
China staged war games near Taiwan last August to express anger at the visit to Taipei of then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In his work report to the annual session of parliament, Li said military operations, capacity building, and combat preparedness should be “well-coordinated in fulfilling major tasks.”
“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,” he said in the state-of-the-nation address to the largely rubber-stamp legislature.
Beijing says its military spending for defensive purposes is a comparatively low percentage of its GDP and that critics want to demonize it as a threat to world peace.
“The armed forces should intensify military training and preparedness across the board, develop new military strategic guidance, devote greater energy to training under combat conditions and make well-coordinated efforts to strengthen military work in all directions and domains,” Li said.