China will increase its military spending by 8.1 percent in 2018 in a bid to further modernize weapons and vessels for the world’s largest army, officials said Monday.
In a sign Beijing might accept slower growth, Li cut the government’s budget deficit target to 2.6 percent of gross domestic product from last year’s 3 percent, which would reduce the stimulus from public spending.
“China should take global concerns seriously, increase its defense budget’s transparency and give up its targeted military deployment towards Taiwan in order to avoid an escalation of regional tension”, it said.
The government has said it will focus on three main goals over the coming year: tackling China’s exposure to financial risk, reining in rampant pollution and continuing to combat poverty. “People shouldn’t be left guessing as to what exactly the objective of these increases is”.
At a news conference on Sunday Zhang said “In recent years, China has moderately raised defense investment”.
Apart from the jump in the military budget, Premier Li reiterated the Chinese government’s mantra of tackling “systemic risks” in the economy.
China’s decision to increase its defence outlay by 8.1% has more do with the situation in the South China Sea, the volatile Korean peninsula and modernising its armed forces than the threat perception from India, experts said on Monday. China insists its military spending is transparent and that it poses a threat to nobody, simply needing to update old equipment and defend its legitimate interests, even as it is increasingly assertive over disputes in the East and South China Seas and on self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims.
The country has made significant headway of late enhancing its missile capabilities and developing the navy and air force, two branches key to challenging the U.S.in military might.
On the horizon, as China lays out its financial ambitions, is a potential trade war brewing with the U.S., as the Trump administration pursues its policy of shifting the global balance in trade.
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.
China decried the US strategic posture as “Cold War mentality”. In the country’s vast rural backwaters, however, Xi seems to enjoy more support among the less privileged thanks to his popular war on graft and poverty, it said.
Among other things, Chipman said, by 2020, China was likely to field its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jet, effectively ending the USA monopoly on such combat aircraft. There have been media reports that China could be building a third aircraft carrier, using a nuclear-powered engine.
The system makes a great contribution to the political civilisation of mankind, since it’s not only suitable for China’s reality but also accords with nation’s excellent traditional culture of selflessness and inclusiveness, Mr Xi said. In fact, Newsweek quotes senior Asian diplomat who said the true increase “would probably be at least double what China revealed”, because much of China’s military spending is “hidden in civilian spending”.
Though China doesn’t wish to be seen as a Russian ally, there is a renewed sense of big-power competition, Yue said. “That said, its maritime presence is certainly growing”.