The increase is only slightly higher than the 6.6% growth announced in 2020 amid the epidemic, the lowest increase in many years.
China’s defense budget will surpass $ 200 billion with the government for the first time on March 5, announcing a 6.8% increase in defense spending for 2021.
The announcement was made at the beginning of the week-long session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the Communist Party-controlled legislature, in Beijing.
The increase is only slightly higher than the 6.6% growth announced in 2020 amid the epidemic, the lowest increase in many years. The defense budget saw double-digit growth by 2015, and was pegged at 7.5% in 2019.
The budget was announced in 2021 as 1.35 trillion yuan ($ 209 billion), compared to 1.27 trillion yuan ($ 179 billion) the previous year.
More than India’s defense budget
It would take China’s defense spending four times more than India’s $ 49.75 billion budget, not including pensions. India’s budget announced a modest 1.48% increase in total defense spending last month, a defense pension of ₹ 4.78 lakh crore ($ 65.7 billion), or ₹ 3.62 lakh crore ($ 49.75 billion) minus pension. India announced a record increase of 1.35 lakh crore ($ 18.4 billion) in capital outlay.
Unlike India, spending on pensions in China is shared by the Ministry of Civil Affairs as well as provincial (state) governments, although part of the budget’s personnel allocation is also for pensions. China also spends much less than India on import acquisitions, and its outlay on capital is difficult to ascertain if the defense budget does not fully account for military spending by China’s vast military industries, which are mostly state-controlled. Huh.
China’s defense spending has evolved in recent years to reflect its on-going modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has traditionally shied away from major military and one for the PLA Navy, Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force. The larger part, which includes cyber warfare.
In 2019, China unveiled its first domestic aircraft carrier, while two more are under construction. Its third carrier – and the second in-house developed one – is expected to launch this year. In 2019, China also unveiled its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-41, which has an estimated 14,000 km range, capable of reaching the US.