04 March 2016
China will raise its defence spending by seven to eight percent this year, a top official said Friday, a smaller increase than the double-digit rises of the past as Beijing seeks a more efficient military.
At the same time the rising power is increasing its military heft and asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, raising tensions with its neighbours and with Washington.
“China’s military budget will continue to grow this year but the margin will be lower than last year’s and the previous years,” said Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress (NPC), the Communist-controlled parliament.
“It will be between seven and eight percent.”
The exact increase will be announced on Saturday at the opening of the NPC, Fu told reporters.
… “Xi Jinping will be determined to increase the military capabilities of the PLA in spite of the slowing growth of China’s economy,” James Char, a researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told AFP.
“More money is required to facilitate the troop reduction in terms of the remuneration packages and compensation to those affected by the cuts.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 07/03/2016