China sets defence spending rise at three-decade low

2020/05/88B5B488-9D9D-4191-B57C-D2983B29B7AB-1590123097.jpeg
Read: 633     09:15     22 May 2020    

China’s defence spending this year will rise at the slowest rate in three decades but will still increase by an impressive 6.6% from 2019, as the country grapples with what it sees as growing security threats and a wilting economy.


The figure, set at 1.268 trillion yuan ($178.16 billion) in the national budget released on Friday, is closely watched as a barometer of how aggressively the country will beef up its military.

China’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with a year earlier, as the coronavirus spread from the central city of Wuhan, where it emerged late last year.

China omitted a 2020 economic growth target for the first time and pledged government support for the economy in Premier Li Keqiang’s work report on Friday, launching the country’s annual parliament meeting.

Still, Li pledged that the armed forces, the world’s largest, should not be worse off.

“We will deepen reforms in national defence and the military, increase our logistic and equipment support capacity, and promote innovative development of defence-related science and technology,” he told about 3,000 delegates at the largely rubber-stamp legislature.

“We will improve the system of national defence mobilisation and ensure that the unity between the military and the government and between the military and the people remains rock solid,” he added.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the armed forces of China and the United States have remained active in the disputed South China Sea and around Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

Bates Gill, Professor of Asia-Pacific Security Studies at Macquarie University in Australia, said the growth of the defence budget strikes a balance, and reflects the tighter budgetary climate and the need to address other economic priorities.

“That said, 6.6% growth is not insignificant and is perhaps multiples higher than expected GDP growth for the coming year,” he said.

Reuters



Tags:



News Line

China sets defence spending rise at three-decade low

2020/05/88B5B488-9D9D-4191-B57C-D2983B29B7AB-1590123097.jpeg
Read: 634     09:15     22 May 2020    

China’s defence spending this year will rise at the slowest rate in three decades but will still increase by an impressive 6.6% from 2019, as the country grapples with what it sees as growing security threats and a wilting economy.


The figure, set at 1.268 trillion yuan ($178.16 billion) in the national budget released on Friday, is closely watched as a barometer of how aggressively the country will beef up its military.

China’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with a year earlier, as the coronavirus spread from the central city of Wuhan, where it emerged late last year.

China omitted a 2020 economic growth target for the first time and pledged government support for the economy in Premier Li Keqiang’s work report on Friday, launching the country’s annual parliament meeting.

Still, Li pledged that the armed forces, the world’s largest, should not be worse off.

“We will deepen reforms in national defence and the military, increase our logistic and equipment support capacity, and promote innovative development of defence-related science and technology,” he told about 3,000 delegates at the largely rubber-stamp legislature.

“We will improve the system of national defence mobilisation and ensure that the unity between the military and the government and between the military and the people remains rock solid,” he added.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the armed forces of China and the United States have remained active in the disputed South China Sea and around Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

Bates Gill, Professor of Asia-Pacific Security Studies at Macquarie University in Australia, said the growth of the defence budget strikes a balance, and reflects the tighter budgetary climate and the need to address other economic priorities.

“That said, 6.6% growth is not insignificant and is perhaps multiples higher than expected GDP growth for the coming year,” he said.

Reuters



Tags: