China increases military spending in face of ‘escalating’ threats

SpaceWar.com reports: “China said Sunday its military spending would rise at the fastest pace in four years, warning of ‘escalating’ threats from abroad at a meeting of its rubber-stamp parliament that will hand Xi Jinping a third term as president.

The increase in the world’s second-largest defence budget came as Beijing announced an economic growth goal of around five percent for this year — one of its lowest in decades.

The country’s planned budgets for the year put defence spending at 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion), a 7.2 percent rise and the quickest rate of increase since 2019. It officially rose 7.1 percent last year.

Outgoing Premier Li Keqiang told delegates to the National People’s Congress (NPC) that ‘external attempts to suppress and contain China are escalating’.

‘The armed forces should intensify military training and preparedness across the board,’ he said as he presented the government’s annual work report to thousands of amassed delegates in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

The military must ‘devote greater energy to training under combat conditions, and… strengthen military work in all directions and domains’, he added…”

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