Worries over defense budget unwarranted
Important to raise soldiers' salaries
Liu Qiang, a professor at the Institute of International Relations, PLA National University of Defense Technology.
As the third-largest country with 9.6 million square kilometers of landmass and 3 million square kilometers of sea area under its jurisdiction, China needs to spend what appears as a large sum of money to safeguard national security. But when compared with the US military budget of $686.1 billion for 2019, that sum is not at all large, especially if we consider the fact that China needs to significantly raise the salaries of its defense personnel, whose sacrifice in protecting the country's national security has not yet been fully recognized.
The pay and treatment Chinese defense personnel get are relatively less than what many Asian countries' defense personnel receive－let alone the US, whose defense personnel get the highest pay in the world.
As President Xi Jinping, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, said, serving the military should be made a respected profession. To this end, the defense personnel's financial wellness must be improved first to ensure they remain fully devoted to safeguarding national defense without having to worry about their families or their future.
It is vital for China to focus on its practical defense needs and ignore those who make a fuss over its rising defense budget. China should also strike a balance between safeguarding national security and promoting economic development－and the defense budget has been fixed by keeping that very fact in mind.
The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.