China ramps up military spending — and it’s now nearly four times India’s outlay

Reuters

  • Earlier today, the Chinese government predicted that its economy would grow in the range of 6-6.5% in 2019, a decline over the 6.6% growth it posted in 2018.
  • Concurrently, the Chinese government plans to hike defence spending by 7.5%.
  • The spending hike will take China’s military budget this year to 1.19 trillion yuan ($177.5 billion).
Earlier today, the Chinese government predicted that its economy would grow in the range of 6-6.5% in 2019, a decline over the 6.6% growth it posted in 2018 which, incidentally, was the slowest GDP growth it recorded since 1990.

Concurrently, the Chinese government plans to hike defence spending by a higher rate - at 7.5%. According to the Chinese government, this is a “reasonable and appropriate” increase in light of national security interests and military reforms.

While this is a slower rate than last year’s 8.1% hike, it still represents a considerable jump over growth and overall spending estimates. The spending hike will take China’s military budget this year to 1.19 trillion yuan ($177.5 billion).

To put this number into perspective, India’s defence spending this year of ₹3.18 trillion ($45 billion) - its highest outlay ever - is a mere quarter of this figure.

In turn, China’s defence spending is a quarter of the US government’s planned outlay. The Trump administration has backed a defence budget of $750 billion for 2019.

China’s increased military spending this decade (2011-2015 had seen double-digit hikes in China’s defence budget) to bolster its navy and air forces has irked its neighbours and countries in the West, especially as it has come along with expansionism in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

The country does not provide a breakdown on where its defence spending goes, which has further riled neighbours like Japan, who, like India, boosted its own military budget to counter China’s territorial incursions in Asian waters.


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