The Indian government just announced its highest ever outlay for defence

Acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced in Parliament today that the government would ramp up defence spending to over ₹3 trillion in 2019-2020 - the highest ever budgetary allocation to defence. This is a marginal increase from the allocation of ₹2.95 trillion in last year’s budget.

The higher spending comes as India prepares for incursions by its neighbour China in the Indian Ocean. China’s expanding military presence across the rest of Asia, primarily through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has been watched closely India and its Western allies.

China has made significant inroads into most of India’s immediate neighbours- Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives and most importantly, Pakistan, through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (which also runs through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir), thereby forming a strategic military circle around India, commonly referred to as the “String of Pearls.”

In December 2018, India was reported to be increasing the size of its navy in order to counter China’s fleet.
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