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China's military spending low, spokesman says

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2024-03-04 14:56
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China has maintained a comparatively low military expenditure and the nation always sticks to a peaceful development road, said a spokesperson for China's annual legislators' annual meeting.

"In recent years, to better safeguard our sovereignty, security, and development interest, to meet the need of military transformation with Chinese characteristics, and to better perform China's international responsibilities and obligations as a major country, China has maintained reasonable and steady growth of its defense spending, consistent with its sound and steady economic and social development, to promote synchronized growth of defense capability and economic strength," Lou Qinjian, spokesman for the second session of the 14th National People's Congress, said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday afternoon, one day ahead of the opening of this year's legislative session.

"I wish to stress that compared with major military powers, such as the United States, China's defense spending is quite low, whether as a percentage of GDP or total budget, or in terms of per citizen or per service member expenditure."

Lou made the remarks when answering a question on China's defense budget.

According to the spokesman, China is committed to the path of peaceful development.

"We stay ready to share development opportunities with all, foster a new type of international relations featuring major respect, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make new contributions to the noble cause of peace and development," he said.

Last year, the Chinese government proposed an annual defense budget of 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion), which marked a 7.2-percent year-on-year increase, at the first session of the 14th NPC.

The 2023 budget maintained single-digit growth for an eighth consecutive year.

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