Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Electronics | By Lorenzo Hawkins

China announces plans to increase military spending by 7 per cent

China announces plans to increase military spending by 7 per cent

It came just days after President Trump pitched a 10 percent surge in USA military spending.

The new USA administration is seeking a $54 billion, or 10 percent, increase in defense spending for the next budget year starting in October from the level in the current year.

Premier Li Keqiang will announce the precise figure for the country's military spending when he addresses the National People's Congress.

"We call for a peaceful settlement through dialogue and consultation (of the territorial disputes)".

"In particular, we need to guard against outside meddling in the disputes".

"China's increasing capability will help maintain peace and stability in the [South China Sea] region, not the opposite".

Lu believes that a four-pronged strategy - moderately prosperous society, all-around in-depth reform, promoting rule of law and strict CPC discipline that has been implemented under Xi leadership placed China as the world's second largest economy next to the United States. It is also not clear if the recent building of artificial islands in South China Sea is shown as military or civilian expenditure.

The country said it has no plans to militarize the islands, but defended its right to build so-called necessary military facilities for defensive purposes.

"I am optimistic about the trade future between China and the U.S., though disputes and conflicts could hardly be avoided, so Beijing can take this chance to appease those who have such concerns".

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However, that is still only a quarter or so of the USA defense budget, which would amount to $603 billion if the 10 percent increase proposed by the White House is approved.

This week influential state-run tabloid the Global Times called for a rise of at least 10 percent to deal with the uncertainty brought by Trump, and a retired senior general told Hong Kong and Taiwan media that 12 percent would be needed to match the US rise.

"She added", Look at the past decade or so, there have been so many conflicts, even wars, around the world resulting in serious, large numbers of casualties and loss of property, so many refugees destitutes and homeless.

"Given the fact that China is working on many different modernisation programmes, including force re-organisation, force reduction and acquisition and procurement of new systems, people had expected a higher growth", he told The Telegraph.

Fu also noted that China's defense spending accounts for only about 1.3 percent of the country's GDP, compared with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members' pledge to dedicate at least 2 percent of GDP to defense.

US President Donald Trump may not be attending the annual gatherings of China's political elite but uncertainty over his policies is casting a long shadow over the events in Beijing. The South China Sea, a waterway of strategic importance, has been at the center of tensions between multiple nations contesting waterway and offshore resources.

"In essence. Washington is perhaps concerned that China could catch up with or surpass the United States in terms of capability", she said, noting that there is still a huge gap between the two countries. "Which one has China caused?".

Chinese officials aren't concerned with the growth rate of United States military spending, said Peng Guangqian, who also studies China's military.

"You should ask them what their intentions are", Fu added.

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