China is going to increase its military budget by 7.1 per cent to USD 229.5 billion in 2022 according to the draft budgetary proposals released, Reuters reported on Saturday.
According to reports, the draft budget was released at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature.
Premier Li Keqiang announced the target in a speech to open China’s annual legislative session at the Great Hall of the People on Saturday, saying “…our country will encounter many more risks and challenges, and we must keep pushing to overcome them” as he presented the government’s work report for the year.
A Chinese finance ministry report, released on Saturday, pegged China’s defence budget for 2022 at 1.45 trillion yuan ($230 billion), a 7.1% year-on-year increase.
It is for the second time that China’s official defence outlay has crossed the $200 billion mark, the first being in 2021.
It’s also the highest rise since 2019, when defence spending grew by 7.5%.
China’s increase in this year’s defence budget came amid the standoff at eastern Ladakh and its increasing political and military tensions with the US.
China has the world’s second-largest defence budget after the US.
(With inputs from agencies)