Beijing [China]: China’s decision to increase its military budget by 7.1 per cent, has caught the eyes of several analysts who believe that decision to spend more on defence-related research and development, was made after restrictions were imposed on the flow of technology from the US and Europe.
China is going to increase its military budget to USD 229.5 billion in 2022, according to the draft budgetary proposals released on Saturday. The draft budget was released at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature. “The main expenditures budgeted at the central level include the following: 1.45045 trillion yuan [USD 229.5 billion] on national defence, up 7.1 per cent,” the draft budget read. Another government report said that the country would boost military education and combat training in 2022.
China has the world’s second-highest military budget after the United States and is investing in long-range, nuclear-capable missiles and other weapons to extend power beyond its shores, Washington Post said.
In March 2021, China had announced a defence budget of 1.35 trillion yuan (USD 209 billion), a 6.8 per cent increase, higher than the 6.6 per cent enhancement in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will be used to boost the modernisation of the Chinese military, including procuring and commissioning more advanced weapons and equipment in terms of both quality and quantity, strengthening the realistic combat-oriented training, and the welfare of military personnel, the report said citing experts.
The Chinese government has pledged to strengthen its national defence and military capability, according to the annual government work report delivered on Saturday morning by Premier Li Keqiang at the fifth session of the 13th NPC.
The report said that the armed forces must continue upholding the Xi Jinping “Thought on Strengthening the Military”, sticking to the goals set by the Communist Party of China, conducting combat training and exercises, and employing firm and flexible countermeasures against provocation to better safeguard sovereignty, security and national interests.
According to US analysts, China is now forced to spend more on defence-related research and development because the U.S. is cutting off the flow of technology and there are similar actions in some European countries.
A report published in the Voice of America (VOA) said China may also reconsider planned arms purchases from Russia because the performance of Russian weapons in Ukraine has reportedly disappointed some arms experts.
Experts believe that a major area of focus is China’s military behaviour in its neighbourhood. According to VOA, most of China’s neighbouring countries feel threatened by the rise in the strength of the People’s Liberation Army.