China increases its defense budget

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China increases its Defense budget

The opening of the annual session of the People's National Assembly (ANP), the Chinese Parliament, takes place in the presence of 3000 delegates.

China announced on Sunday that its defense budget, the second in the world after that of the United States, will increase by 7.2% in 2023, a very slight acceleration compared to last year. Beijing made the announcement at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament.

Largely subservient to the Communist Party (CCP) in power, this parliamentary chamber, meeting for nine days at the People's Palace in Beijing, should also offer Xi Jinping an unprecedented third presidential term within a few days.

< p class="e-p">The growth rate of the Defense budget, higher than in 2022 (it was +7.1%) was announced in a report by the Ministry of Finance published on the sidelines of the #x27;opening of the annual session of parliament.

Beijing plans to spend 1553.7 billion yuan ($225 billion) on its defense – still about three times lower to the Washington budget.

Even if skepticism surrounds this figure, because no details are provided, its increase each year arouses the mistrust of neighboring countries of China having territorial disputes with it.

This is particularly the case of India – skirmishes sometimes break out along their disputed border in the Himalayas -, of Japan – for the control of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands -, or even of the Philippines. where incidents regularly arise around the sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea.

Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday called in a speech to parliament to step up training of the army as well as combat readiness and make innovations in terms of strategic orientations.

Chinese delegates leave after the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Senior US officials have recently accused China of wanting to attack Taiwan, an island it claims, within a few years, or of managing a fleet of military balloons spying on the whole world

Even NATO, traditionally centered on Europe, has seen the Asian giant as a challenge to the interests of the countries of the Alliance since last year.

China defends itself by pointing out that its army is purely defensive and that it has only one military base abroad (in Djibouti) against several hundred for the #x27;US military.

Its military spending is around just 2% of its GDP – compared to around 3% for Washington.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States is by far the country with the highest military spending, with $801 billion in 2021.

Next in order are China (293), India (76.6), the United Kingdom (68.4), Russia (65.9) and France (56.6 ).

After three years of slowdown due to anti-COVID restrictions, China's economy is enjoying a solid recovery, outgoing Premier Li Keqiang's report said. (File photo)

Meanwhile, China will aim for economic growth of about 5 percent in 2023, according to a government work report released on Sunday. After three years of slowdown due to anti-COVID restrictions, China's economy is enjoying a solid recovery, outgoing Premier Li Keqiang's report presented to the nearly 3,000 PNA lawmakers pointed out.

The target of around 5% GDP growth, however, is one of the most modest targets in decades.

In 2022, China's GDP grew by just 3%, one of the lowest increases in 40 years, amid an economic slowdown, the COVID-19 outbreak, lockdowns and lockdowns. a real estate crisis.

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