While the American military goes woke….

China plans to expand its defense budget by 7.2%

China announced a 7.2% increase in its defense budget for the coming year, up slightly from last year’s 7.1% rate of increase.

AP reports on this.

This is the eighth consecutive increase in the military budget. The 2023 figure was given as 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion), roughly double the figure from 2013.

In his report to the annual session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, Premier Li Keqiang said that over the past year, “We remained committed to the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces.”
Голова Постійного комітету Всенародного з’їзду народних депутатів Лі Чжаньшу, президент Китаю Сі Цзіньпін і прем’єр Лі Кецян під час відкриття сесії Всекитайських зборів народних представників (ВЗНП) у Домі народних зборів у Пекіні, неділя, 5 березня 2023 р. (AP Photo/Ng Хань Гуань)
Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Permanent Committee of the National Congress of People’s Deputies, China President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang during the opening /NG Han Guan)

The People’s Liberation Army is a military wing of the ruling Communist Party. It is governed by a party commission led by President and Party leader Xi Jinping.

Li Keqiang noted that China’s army became a “more modernized and capable fighting force,” but he offered no details.

“We should consolidate and enhance the integration of national strategies and strategic capabilities and step up capacity building in science, technology, and industries related to national defense. That includes promoting mutual support between civilian and military sectors,” Li Keqiang said.

Some expenses are planned to be allocated to improve the troops’ welfare.
Expanding Chinese influence

At the same time, the National Liberation Army of China has significantly expanded its presence abroad in recent years.

China has already established one foreign military base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.
Китайська військова база в Джибуті. Супутниковий знімок, травень 2020
Chinese military base in Djibouti. Satellite image, May 2020

China is refurbishing Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, which could give it at least a semi-permanent presence on the Gulf of Thailand facing the disputed South China Sea.

The modernization effort has prompted concerns among the U.S. and its allies, particularly over Taiwan.

In his remarks on Taiwan, Li Keqiang said the government had followed the party’s “overall policy for the new era on resolving the Taiwan question and resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference.”

Along with Taiwan, tensions have been rising with the U.S. over China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

On March 2, the United States approved the potential sale of missiles for F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan (Republic of China).

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