Defying pressure for a strong increase in defence spending, China said on Saturday its military budget this year would grow about 7 percent, its slowest pace since 2010.
That was reported by AP.
Last year, with China’s economy slowing, the defence budget recorded its lowest increase in six years, 7.6 percent, the first single-digit rise since 2010, following a nearly unbroken two-decade run of double-digit increases.
The precise figure will be provided by Premier Li Keqiang in his address to the National People’s Congress on Sunday morning.
Fu reiterated China’s contention that its military was purely for defense and constituted a force for stability in Asia.
“We advocate dialogue for peaceful resolutions, while at the same time, we need to possess the ability to defend our sovereignty and interests,” Fu said. “The strengthening of Chinese capabilities benefits the preservation of peace and security in this region, and not the opposite.”
This week influential state-run tabloid the Global Times called for a rise of at least 10 percent to deal with the uncertainty brought by Trump, and a retired senior general told Hong Kong and Taiwan media that 12 percent would be needed to match the U.S. rise.
“It’s not enough,” a source with ties to senior Chinese officers told Reuters. “A lot of people in the military won’t be happy with this.”