BEIJING — China is increasing its
A national budget report issued Friday said China would spend 1.355 trillion yuan ($210 billion) on
That’s up from 1.3 trillion yuan ($180 billion) last year representing a 6.6% boost, the lowest percentage increase in at least two decades.
The military budget has dipped during periods of slower economic growth, but has also been dropping steadily from the double-digit percentage increases over years as the increasingly powerful military matures and rapid expansion of what is already the world’s second largest
The lavish spending increases of years past have given China the second-largest
The government says most of the spending increases go toward improving pay and other conditions for troops while observers say the budget omits much of China’s spending on weaponry, most of it developed domestically. China’s military is largely designed to maintain its threat to use force to bring Taiwan under its control, although it has also grown more assertive in the South China Sea, the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and elsewhere.
The U.S., whose
The People's Liberation Army exercises a strong political role as the military branch of the ruling Communist Party. President and party leader Xi Jinping heads the government and party commissions that oversee the armed forces.
In his address to Friday's opening session of the ceremonial legislature, the National People's Congress, Premier Li Keqiang said the government would “thoroughly implement Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the armed forces and the military strategy for the new era, (and) ensure the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces."
“We will boost military training and preparedness across the board, make overall plans for responding to security risks in all areas and for all situations, and enhance the military’s strategic capacity to protect the sovereignty, security, and development interests of our country" Li said.
The Associated Press