China increases military spending in face of ‘escalating’ threats

  • China announced on 5 Mar an increase in its military spending while warning of “escalating” threats from abroad, at a meeting of its parliament that is set to hand Xi Jinping a third term as president.
  • The hike in defence spending marks the eighth consecutive single-digit increase. As in previous years, no breakdown of the spending was given, only the overall amount and the rate of increase.
  • Beijing is nervous about challenges on fronts ranging from Taiwan to US naval and air missions in the disputed South China Sea near Chinese-occupied islands.
  • China’s reported defence budget in 2023 is about a quarter of proposed US spending, though many diplomats and foreign experts believe Beijing under-reports the real number.

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