China in its draft defence budget hiked the allocation from last year’s US$ 177.6 billion by only 6.6 per cent to 1.268 trillion yuan (US$ 178.2 billion), the lowest increment in recent years apparently due to the heavy disruption caused to its economy by the COVID-19.  The 2020 defence budget continues to see single-digit growth for a fifth consecutive year, in fact since 2016. It is the lowest growth rate in recent years, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Commenting on the defence budget, China's Global Times (May 22) observed the 6.6 per cent rise in the defence budget was lower than the 7.5 per cent of 2019, when the defence budget was 1.19 trillion yuan. It quoted Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, as saying that it is very normal that compared to last year's 7.5 percent growth rate, this year's 6.6 percent is not a significant slowdown considering the effect brought by the pandemic. He added, however, that 'China is facing national security threats, including those taking place very nearby to China and in non-traditional security fields. Compared to these threats, China's military expenditure was far from enough'. Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times that the increased defence budget can ensure the Chinese military's major programs and key spending fields are not affected by the pandemic and will remain on schedule. Unnamed military experts quoted by Global Times said 'China has huge national defence demands, which is a crucial factor in the military budget. In the post-pandemic period, China faces more military threats from other countries, mainly the US. With Taiwan secessionists becoming more and more rampant, reunification by force with the island of Taiwan is always on the table, adding that in this situation, increasing the defence budget must not stop. Song Zhongping  said "People should ask first, which countries are threatening China's national security in the first place? They should ask the US, they should ask India, and some other neighbouring countries and regions."  

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | Email Us
Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, A-50, Second Floor, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi-110057
Tel: 011 41017353