China boosts defense budget to respond to changing security situation
Beijing looks to boost its defense budget to further ensure national security as the US continues to increase tensions in the region.
A spokesperson for the first session of the 14th Chinese National People's Congress, Wang Chao, said that China is increasing its defense budget to meet complex security challenges and fulfill the country's obligations.
"The increase in defense spending is driven both by the need to respond to complex security challenges and the need to fulfill the obligations of a large country," Wang told reporters.
The scale of military spending was also determined by the basic needs of defense construction and the level of development of the national economy, according to the spokesperson.
In 2021, global military spending continued to rise, hitting an all-time high of $2.1 trillion. This was the seventh year in a row that spending increased.#USA #Russia #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/0qA0mU7Rcm— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) April 27, 2022
Simultaneously, Wang refused to say how much China would increase its defense spending in 2023, saying that all the details would be included in the country's draft budget, which is expected to be released on Sunday.
The share of China's defense budget as a percentage of GDP has remained for many years largely stable and below global average figures, according to the spokesperson. "The growth rate is relatively moderate and reasonable," Wang added.
He also stated that modernizing China's armed forces would not pose a threat to any country, but rather would be a positive force in maintaining stability and peace in the region and around the world.
China steadily increases its defense budget year after year, despite the fact that Beijing adheres to a defensive military doctrine and does not participate in wars or military conflicts. China planned to increase its military budget by 7.1% year on year to 1.45 trillion yuan ($209.9 billion) in 2022.
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This comes after the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said on Friday that China demands that the US stops selling arms to Taiwan and ends military contact with the island.
"China demands that the United States stop selling arms to Taiwan and military contacts with Taipei, stop interfering in the Taiwan issue and aggravate tensions in the Taiwan Strait," Tan said.
US-made F-16 fighter jets and equipment worth more than $600 million are in an approved deal Washington will sell to Taiwan.
"China strongly opposes the arms sale to Taiwan by the United States. US actions are a gross interference in China's internal affairs, seriously violate the 'one China' principle and the provisions of the three joint US-Chinese communiques, cause serious damage to China's sovereignty and security interests, and pose a serious threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Tan stated.
In light of the Sino-US tension, China looks to develop its defense supply. The official warned that the Chinese military is prepared to safeguard its national sovereignty.
The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement earlier this week that the US approved a $619 million sale of military equipment to Taiwan.
This sale includes F-16 munitions and other equipment.
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It is worth noting that currently, 30 US troops are stationed in Taiwan. However, it is planned that an additional 100 to 200 soldiers are likely to arrive over the coming months.
The newly deployed troops will include special operations forces and US Marines that will be tasked to expand a pre-existing training program that the Pentagon wanted to keep out of the public eye.