Notwithstanding slowing growth, China will raise its defense budget by around 10 per cent this year, a spokeswoman for the annual session of the country’s top legislature said Wednesday.
The actual figure will be released as part of the budget report on Thursday when the annual session of China’s Parliament opens, said National People’s Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying.
China’s defense budget rose by 12.2 per cent last year.
The spokesperson said Beijing’s defence modernization faces challenges.
“Compared with great powers, the road of China’s defence modernisation is more difficult. We have to rely on ourselves for most of our military equipment and research and development,” Fu said.
While presenting the military budget for 2015, US President Barack Obama exceeded the spending limits of the Congress, arguing it is needed to keep an eye on rivals like China and Russia. US defense spending still accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the global total. Obama sent the US Congress a military spending proposal for 2016 that calls for a Pentagon base budget of $534 billion, plus $51 billion in funding for wars overseas.
The Chinese spokesperson on Wednesday also reiterated the importance of the pacifist constitution of China.
“But fundamentally speaking, China’s defence policy is defensive in nature. This is clearly defined in the constitution. We will not easily change this direction and principle,” she said.
“I can reveal the rough situation. Among the recommendations for 2015 … defence budget and the increase in defence spending, the magnitude is probably about 10 percent,” Fu added.
TBP and Agencies