China To Raise Defense Spending Despite Economic Uncertainty

China To Raise Defense Spending Despite Economic Uncertainty

March 6, 2024, 8:25 a.m.

China is set to increase its defense spending by 7.2 percent this year despite growing economic uncertainty in the country.

The National People's Congress began on Tuesday to decide the country's key policies.

The government's budget plan unveiled at the opening session of the parliament includes defense spending of 1.665 trillion yuan, or about 230 billion dollars.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang, who made a comprehensive report on government activities, announced that this year's target for economic growth is around 5 percent, about the same as last year.

Li said, "Achieving this year's target will not be easy." Attention is focused on whether the Chinese government will be able to come up with effective measures to achieve the goal.

Concerning China's military buildup, Li said the country's armed forces "will strengthen all-around military training and combat readiness" in order to "firmly safeguard China's national sovereignty, security and development interests."

As for Taiwan, Li said Beijing will "promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations" and will be "firm advancing the cause of the unification of the motherland."

China is stepping up military activities in the Indo-Pacific region. It has also not pledged to renounce the use of force to achieve unification despite its declared intention to pursue a peaceful unification.

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