Daily Telegraph, London, on March 5, 2013, reported that China will push through a double-digit rise in its defence spending again this year, a sign that its new leaders are currying favour with the military even as the economy slows. Excerpts below:
Military spending will rise by 10.7 per cent to 720 billion yuan (£76.5 billion) this year. The figure is more than double the UK’s defence spending of around £34 billion, and more than triple the Indian figure of £25 billion.
By next year, China will also be spending three times as much on defence as Japan, with whom it is currently engaged in an increasingly acrimonious territorial standoff.
China has raised its defence budget by double digits each year for most of the past two decades. Last year’s increase was 11.2 per cent.
But this year’s rise comes against a backdrop of slowing growth, with GDP forecast to rise by 7.5 per cent compared to an average of more than 10 per cent for most of the past decade.