China to boost military spending in 2022
China has revealed its defence budget for 2022 at the opening of a new legislative session of the National Peoples Congress on Saturday. The budget gives the Peoples Liberation Armed Forces 1.45 trillion yuan about $230 billion.
Western media houses Reuters and Bloomberg were quick to criticise the increased military spending, despite China sticking to a single digit defence spending for seven years. Western critics say its defence spending is bigger than its 2022 GDP target of 5.5 percent.
According to Chinese experts, the increased funding is to safeguard the country national sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and development interests as well as safeguarding the world with reliable partners. Premier Li Keqiang said in a statement released Saturday. “We will move faster to modernise the military’s logistics and asset management systems, and build a modern weaponry and equipment management system.”
The United States, China’s global rival aiming to maintain its global empire and over 900 military bases will spend $770 billion. A former PLA officer speaking on condition of anonymity to the Chinese Global Times claimed that in the 1970s, China concentrated on economic development and not defence spending. Even when the economy began booming its defence spending was frozen.
“Today’s military development is making up for what was lost, and it is vital to have a military strength that matches China comprehensive development status in order to safeguard the country’s fruits of development.” The former PLA officer added.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert said. “China’s military budget is appropriate and reasonable given that China is aiming to develop a modernised military, and because some external forces have been constantly enhancing their military deployment and stirring up trouble near China.”
Observers also point out that increased US aggressiveness in the South China sea and its policy of supporting the secessionists in Chinese Taipei in partnership with its allies are reasons why China is increasing its military budget.
Source Global Times/Reuters/CNBC
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