China Will Increase Its Defense Budget To $178.8 Billion In 2020
Chinese authorities intend to increase national defense spending by 6.6% in 2020, to 1.27 trillion yuan (about $178.8 billion). As follows from the draft budget of the country for 2020, distributed on Friday at the opening of the 3rd session of the national people's Congress (NPC, the highest legislative body) of the 13th convocation, the growth rate was the lowest in almost 30 years.
"National defense spending [will be] 1,268 billion yuan with an increase of 6.6%; public security spending-183,272 billion yuan (about $25.9 billion) with an increase of 0.7%," the document States.
The rate of increase in defense spending has decreased compared to 2019 when it was 7.5%. The current figure of 6.6% is the lowest since 1991.
On the eve of the opening of the session, the official representative of the 3rd session of the NPC of the 13th convocation, Zhang Yesui, denied the existence of a hidden part of the defense budget in the country. "China has been submitting reports on its military expenditures to the UN since 2007. Where the money comes from, where it goes, everything is clear. There are no hidden military expenditures, " he said.
China's military budget
According to the Stockholm international peace research Institute (SIPRI), China ranks second in the world in terms of defense spending after the United States (about $686 billion in 2020). According to SIPRI, China's military budget in 2019 amounted to 14% of the global figure and is second only to the US share (38%).
According to official data, in 2017, China's defense budget was increased by 7% and for the first time in history broke the mark of 1 trillion yuan, reaching 1.044 trillion yuan (about $151.97 billion at the exchange rate at the time of publication of the data). In 2018, the Chinese government increased national defense spending by 8.1%, to 1.11 trillion yuan (about $175 billion). Last year, the defense budget was increased by 7.5%, to 1.19 trillion yuan (about $177.61 billion).
Many international organizations, including SIPRI, believe that China significantly underestimates the official data on the military budget, and its real defense spending may be higher by 25-50%. According to military analysts, the published data does not include several items that are very large in terms of funding: expenditures on strategic forces, defense scientific and technical developments, imports of foreign weapons, the People's armed police (analogous to the internal troops) and other paramilitary armed formations. It also does not take into account the expenditures of the provincial authorities for military needs.
Reform of the armed forces
The Chinese government intends to deepen the reform of the people's liberation army (PLA) and accelerate the rearmament program of the armed forces. "It is necessary to deepen the reform in the field of national defense and the armed forces, to increase the potential of logistics and re-equipment of the army, to promote the innovative development of defense science and technology," the document says.
"It is necessary to steadily maintain the absolute leadership of the NKAO by the CPC, strictly observe the Institute of responsibility of the Chairman of the Central Military Council. Resolutely defend the state sovereignty, security, and development interests of China," the report emphasizes.