China’s Defense Budget to Rise 7 Percent

China’s Defense Budget to Rise 7 PercentChina’s Defense Budget to Rise 7 Percent

The defense budget of China will increase by around 7% this year compared to last year’s $146 billion, spokesperson of the country’s National People’s Congress has announced.

The announcement comes amid US plans to boost military and security spending by 10%, Sputnik reported.

"This year, the defense budget will increase by about 7% and amount to 1.3% of the GDP," Fu Ying said on Saturday.

She stressed that the budget increase is due to a need to ensure state security and not a reflection of opposition to other nations.

On Friday, Chinese Lt. Gen. Wang Hongguang, a retired deputy commander of the former Nanjing Military Command, called for a 12% increase of the Chinese defense budget in view of US defense spending plans.

"The US defense budget has increased by 10% and we need at least a double-digit increase. The most ideal is 12%," Hongguang was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.

Fu Ying said on Saturday China is far behind the United States in terms of military capabilities, but is nonetheless strong enough to ensure stability in the South China Sea.

On Monday, the US Office of Management and Budget announced that US President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would boost military and security spending by $54 billion, or 10%, with a corresponding reduction in all other discretionary spending.

The Chinese military budget is the second largest in the world after that of the US. Last year, China’s defense budget increased by 7.6% as compared to 2015, which was the slowest rate in six years.

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