People’s Congress: China defends higher military spending

Status: 03/04/2023 12:32 p.m

After the United States, China spends the most on its troops in the world. The People’s Congress is now expected to increase the military budget once again. A spokesman defended the past increases in advance.

By Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Studio Beijing

The Chinese state and party leadership has defended its course of increasingly spending money on the military. The People’s Republic has to deal with complex security challenges and fulfill the responsibilities of a big country, spokesman for the National People’s Congress Wang Chao said in Beijing. The increases in recent years have been moderate and reasonable.

The People’s Congress will meet for about a week starting tomorrow. On the first day, the state and party leaders usually announce what economic growth they expect for the current year and what they intend to spend on the military. China’s defense budget has always risen faster than other budget spending in recent years – by 7.1 percent in the previous year. Experts expect a similar increase this year. China has the second largest military budget in the world after the United States.

Tensions with Taiwan

China’s military modernization is not a threat to other countries, the spokesman for the National People’s Congress said. The increase in military spending is viewed critically internationally: China is expanding its presence in the South China Sea and regularly threatens Taiwan with war. The state and party leadership regards the democratically governed island as a separate part of the country. The US government has also recently expressed concern that China could supply Russia with weapons that the Russian military could then use in Ukraine.

Around 3,000 non-democratic delegates will meet in Beijing for the annual session of the National People’s Congress, which begins tomorrow. They usually agree to whatever the communist state and party leadership puts in front of them. Apparently only a few media from democratically governed states are allowed to open this year. Also the applications of ARD were rejected without justification.

China defends expected increase in military spending

Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Beijing, March 4, 2023 11:39 a.m

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