Beijing: China on Saturday hiked its annual defence budget by 7.1 per cent to USD 230 billion from last year’s USD 209 billion.
The Chinese government has proposed the defence budget for the fiscal year 2022 at 1.45 trillion yuan (USD 230 billion), a 7.1 per cent year on year increase, state-run China Daily reported quoting the draft budget proposals presented by Premier Li Keqiang to the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s parliament on Saturday.
The hike is over three times that of India’s defence budget of 5.25 lakh crore (about USD 70 billion) for 2022.
Last year, China’s defence spending for the first time crossed USD 200 billion.
In 2021, the defence budget grew by 6.8 per cent to USD 209 billion.
In his work report presented to China’s Parliament, Chinese Premier Li called for “deepening comprehensive combat readiness” from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
He said the PLA needs to “carry out military struggles in a resolute and flexible manner” to defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
China’s increase in this year’s defence budget came amid the standoff at eastern Ladakh and its increasing political and military tensions with the US.
China has the world’s second-largest defence budget after the US.