China to hike military budget citing threats - Dispatch Weekly

March 6, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

China is planning to increase military spending by almost 7% this year, citing “escalating threats.

The rubber-stamp National People’s Congress (NPC) confirmed President Xi Jinping’s third term.

The US military budget is four times larger than Beijing’s $225bn (£186bn), although analysts believe China understates its defence spending.

“External attempts to control and contain China are growing,” outgoing Premier Li Keqiang told the NPC.

He advised the military to boost training and readiness.

The summit also announced that China would aim for 5% economic growth this year.

The Two Sessions occur annually. Yet, this year’s meetings will restructure some key Communist Party and governmental organisations.

Xi will be elected president and head of the armed forces at this week’s NPC conference.

Last October, the Communist Party re-elected him for a third term, solidifying his position in Chinese politics.

As he embraces Russian leader Vladimir Putin and worsens relations with the US over the Ukraine war and spy balloon incident, Xi is planning to increase his country’s military spending.

American authorities have warned that China may invade Taiwan, a separatist colony it has ambitions to control.

The NPC will also announce China’s new premier, who normally supervises the economy and administration.

One of Xi’s most trusted colleagues, Li Qiang, is poised to take over.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.