China boosts defense budget by 6.6 per cent, lowest in over 30 years

The Indian Army is rewriting its war plans for possible conflict with Pakistan and China. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BEIJING, May 22, 2020, China Daily. China’s annual defense budget for the fiscal year of 2020 recorded the lowest growth rate in more than 30 years, according to a draft budget report released on Friday, China Daily reported.

The central government proposed the annual defense budget at about 1.27 trillion yuan ($178 billion), a 6.6 percent raise year-on-year, showed figures from the report prepared by the Ministry of Finance and distributed at the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

The budget’s growth rate is lower than since the fiscal 1988, which had a 3.81 percent proposed increase rate in the defense budget.

In fiscal 2019, China planned to raise the defense budget by 7.5 percent, setting the military expenditure at nearly 1.19 trillion yuan. All of the budgeted money has been utilized, the report said.

The report is to be reviewed and discussed by NPC deputies.

At a news conference on Thursday night in Beijing, Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the annual NPC meeting, said China’s military spending is transparent.

China’s defense policy is defensive in nature and its defense spending is proportionate and restrained in terms of total size, per capita expenditure and proportion of GDP, he said.

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