China growth target same as previous year but defence outlay hiked

Randolph Lopez
March 10, 2018

Beijing proposed spending 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion) on its military, according to its budget report presented ahead of the opening of China's 13th National People's Congress on Monday, according to Reuters.

In line with this agenda, Li, the premier, set this year's growth target at around 6.5 per cent, which would be among the world's strongest if achieved.

In China, the president is a largely ceremonial title and the real power rests with the other two offices a top leader holds - Xi is also chief of both the party and the military.

Though China announced its military spending at about $ 150.5 billion past year, observers say it is considerably higher, considering it is now building two more aircraft carriers in addition to the one already in service as well as addition of new jet fighters, including stealth fighter J-20.

Boosting the military budget, curbing "systemic risks" in the economy and targeting GDP growth at 6.5% were the key policies announced as the curtain went up for the National People's Congress in Beijing. The budget grew 7.6% in 2016, and 7% in 2017.

While China's actual defense spending remains opaque, the country has undertaken a decadeslong quest to modernize its military and expand its air and naval capabilities worldwide.

Trump asked two Mueller witnesses what they talked about
At the time of his firing, Comey was directly overseeing an investigation into possible Trump campaign and Kremlin ties. A representative of the special counsel's office declined to comment on the published reports.

Warriors lose Curry early against Spurs, then Durant leads fourth-quarter comeback
Australian Patty Mills contributed just eight points and two rebounds for the Spurs , who next face Oklahoma City. To keep those "off nights" from hurting them in the postseason, they need to forget about being the No. 1 seed.

Zeliang resigns, backs Neiphiu Rio as new Nagaland CM
National People's Party's (NPP) state president Ato Yepthomi said he had also submitted a letter supporting Rio to the governor. The NPF has also threatened to pull out of the Manipur government if the interest of the party is ignored in Nagaland.

However, China's publicly announced defence spending has never been entirely accurate since it fails to omit a significant amount of "off book" expenditures on defence equipment projects, said Peter Jennings, executive director of the nonpartisan Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank. "It is increasingly clear that China and Russian Federation want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions". China's military build-up has rattled the nerves of its neighbours, particularly because of its increasingly assertive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and over Taiwan, a self-ruled territory Beijing claims as its own.

Such vessels stand to alter the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, where the U.S. Navy has always been dominant and regional rivals such as Japan and India are stepping up their presence. It will likely become more meddlesome in Korean affairs as it was in its protest of the installation of a US antimissile system in Korea. The Chinese Navy also expanded its global reach with flotilla ships sailing through the far-off oceans to expand China's influence.

China decried the US strategic posture as "Cold War mentality".

All three fleets are growing "leaner and meaner" due to a greater emphasis on technical sophistication, Erickson wrote, adding that the US also anticipates facing a Chinese submarine fleet twice its number, though less technologically advanced.

He said the national defense budget increase is based on "three requirements of the times" and "one realistic possibility".

"China's development will not constitute a threat to any country". "The common folk really support it", Wang said.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

Discuss This Article