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Chinese Military Defends Increased Budget, Says It Is In Line With Challenges Ahead

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The Chinese military has defended its increased budget of $179 billion for this year, saying it is in line with the challenges faced by the country.

China’s defence budget this year will be around 1.27 trillion yuan ($179 billion) against last year’s 177.61 billion, up by 6.6 per cent, according to a draft submitted to the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Friday.

China on Tuesday directed its armed forces to “comprehensively strengthen” the training of troops and and be prepared for a war amid the Coronavirus pandemic that has seemingly impacted its national security.

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the military to think about worst-case scenarios, scale up training and battle preparedness, promptly and effectively deal with all sorts of complex situations and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.

The Chinese President’s directive comes at a time when its relations with India have strained after tensions along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh flared up. The war cry also comes amid rising tensions with the US, belligerent speeches by Chinese politicians in reference with Taiwan, and renewed protests in Hong Kong.

China has been facing new risks and challenges in its national defence in recent times, Defence Spokesman Wu Qian told the meeting, mainly referring to Taiwan where the government headed by President Tsai Ing-wen had last week challenged Beijing’s assertions that it is a part of China.

By scale and allocation, the defence expenditure is based on China’s economic development situation and national defence requirements, he told delegates at the Parliament session here, state-run Global Times reported.

From a domestic point of view, there have been multi-dimensional and complicated security risks, as there are more serious anti-secession missions, with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan relying on foreign forces, he said

China’s homeland security and overseas interests are also facing some real threats, Wu said.

China must have a clear mind when it comes to national defence and be prepared for danger in peacetime, he said.

An increase in defence expenditure is also needed so the Chinese military can fulfil more international responsibilities, Wu said, noting that as the Chinese military grows in strength, the international community is expecting it to provide more public security goods, he said.


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