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Porkins on Sputnik: China Defends 10% Military Budget Increase as ‘Proportionate and Low’

The Chinese government recently announced a near 10% increase in their military budget for 2018. Chinese state media have defended the decision, saying it is part of a modernization program, calling the increase “proportionate and low.”

The increase is the biggest jump in Chinese military spending in recent years. In 2014, the total was $132 billion, which grew to $145 billion in 2015, $147 billion in 2016 and will reach $175 billion next year. Zhang Yesui, a spokesperson for the first annual session of the 13th NPC, explained that the extra money is not to increase China’s overall military capacity, but to update and modernize their armed forces:

“A large part of the growth of the defense budget is to make up for the low military spending in the past and is mainly used to upgrade equipment and improve the welfare of servicemen and women and the living and training conditions of grassroots troops.”

Sputnik spoke to political analyst Pearse Redmond about the geopolitical struggles that are the underlying reasons for China’s consistently growing military expenditure:

“As China becomes more and more integrated in the global economy it understands that maintaining economic superiority requires more security. In Africa, where China has poured vast sums of money into various projects, they have also been quietly building small military bases and developing relationships with various African military and security forces. For example, in Djibouti, once the exclusive military domain of the US, China now operates a naval base adjacent to the Port of Doraleh, which is west of Djibouti City.”

Full article…

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