China Announces Double-Digit Military Spending Boost

Tania Branigan from The Guardian reports that spending will increase by 14.9% this year.

The spokesman for the National People’s Congress – China’s rubber-stamp parliament, which begins its annual session tomorrow – told reporters it was a “modest” increase which would increase capabilities and improve conditions for the 2.3 million members of the world’s largest army.

[…]Chinese officials argue that heavy investment is needed to modernise its military after years of financial neglect and in the light of other countries’ increasing capabilities and China’s growing responsibilities. It has begun contributing to peacekeeping efforts and recently sent ships to join the taskforce battling Somalian pirates.

Li said the rise would mainly go towards raising wages and conditions, improving the military’s hi-tech ability and enhancing its emergency response capabilities in “disaster relief, fighting terrorism, maintaining stability and other non-warfare military operations”.

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