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Moderate defense budget increase enhances national and global security, spokesman says

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2021-03-08 14:43
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PLA Navy ships conduct supply operations at an unspecified location in February 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

A moderate increase in the defense budget will better enable the military to safeguard the security of the country and the entire world, according to a Defense Ministry spokesman.

"The Chinese government has maintained a 'reasonable, stable' increase in the nation's defense expenditure over the past several years, along with sustained, sound socioeconomic growth, to boost balanced development in defense and economic fields," said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, who is also spokesman for national lawmakers from the armed forces at the ongoing fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress.

He explained that the raised proportion in the defense budget will be used in the military's major programs, the upgrade of hardware, as well as improvement of training and personnel treatment.

The central government proposed China's defense budget for the 2021 fiscal year at 1.35 trillion yuan ($209.50 billion), a 6.8 percent year-on-year increase, according to a draft budget report submitted to the national legislature on Friday.

The figures were included in the report prepared by the Ministry of Finance and distributed at the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

The proposed expenditure, if lawmakers approve the budget, will maintain single-digit growth for a sixth consecutive year, and will be slightly higher than that in 2020, which recorded the lowest percentage increase in more than three decades.

Last year, the central government proposed defense spending of about 1.27 trillion yuan, a 6.6 percent rise on the 2019 defense budget. That was the lowest growth rate since 1988, when a 3.81 percent increase in the defense budget was proposed.

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