rain.png
Thursday May 28th, 2020 3:48AM

China hikes defense spending by 6.6%, lowest rate in years

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BEIJING (AP) — China will increase its defense spending by 6.6% in 2020, the lowest rate in years as it battles an economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, the government said Friday.

The figure is down from the double-digit percentage increases of just a few years ago that have given China the second biggest defense budget in the world behind the U.S. Spending will total 1.3 trillion yuan ($180 billion), according to the website of the National People's Congress, the ceremonial parliament that opened its annual session Friday.

The People’s Liberation Army, the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, is the world’s largest standing military and in recent years has added aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines and stealth fighters to its arsenal, most of them produced domestically.

China says the increases in spending mostly go toward improving conditions for troops, while foreign analysts say actual spending could be much higher because many items are not included in the official budget.

Defense outlays rose by 7.5% last year to 1.2 trillion yuan ($178 billion), while independent experts estimated real spending on the military exceeded $220 billion when off-budget expenses were added in.

This year's spending will expand China’s navy and acquire advanced aircraft and other weapons to help Beijing enforce its territorial claims in the South China Sea and expand its military presence in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. Another key priority is maintaining a credible threat against Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy China considers its own territory to be brought under its control by military force if necessary.

"We will ... resolutely oppose and deter any separatist activities seeking ‘Taiwan independence,’” China's Premier Li Keqiang said in a policy address to the congress.

The increase comes despite a 6.8% contraction in the world’s second-largest economy in the first quarter and a swelling government budget deficit required to help meet targets including creating 9 million new urban jobs.

That appears to demonstrate the vast importance the party places on the military as a symbol of China's growing power and ability to defend what it identifies as its core national interests, something Xi Jinping, party leader, head of state and commander of the military, has made his highest priority.

It also helps demonstrate that the virus outbreak has not thrown off track Xi's aim of establishing China as the primary regional power and diminishing the presence of its key rival, the U.S.

The PLA was also portrayed as playing a pivotal role during the height of the coronavirus outbreak by dispatching medics and building field hospitals, something recognized in Li's report to the opening session.

“The people’s armed forces demonstrated fine conduct by reacting swiftly to the Party’s commands and shouldering heavy responsibilities in COVID-19 control," he said.

The government will strengthen support in logistics and equipment and “promote innovative development of defense-related science and technology," while ensuring that “unity between the military and the government and between the military and the people “remains rock solid," the premier said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
China hikes defense spending by 6.6%, lowest rate in years
China will increase its defense spending by the lowest rate in years as it battles an economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak
1:00AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump lashes out at scientists whose findings contradict him
President Donald Trump has been lashing out at scientists whose conclusions he doesn’t like as he pushes to reopen the country during the coronavirus crisis
12:22AM ( 50 minutes ago )
GOP weighs jobless aid cuts to urge Americans back to work
Republicans want to phase out unemployment benefits to encourage Americans to go back to work
12:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Asian shares fall on US friction with China, Hong Kong fears
Shares are slipping in Asia as tensions flare between the U.S. and China and as more job losses add to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic
11:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
China boosts spending but no big steps for virus-hit economy
China’s top economic official has promised higher spending to revive its coronavirus-battered economy and curb surging job losses
11:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
China to boost defense spending by lowest rate in years
China will boost defense spending by the lowest rate in years as it battles an economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Divided Senate confirms Ratcliffe as intelligence chief
A sharply divided Senate has confirmed John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence
8:54PM ( 4 hours ago )
China may pass bill to crack down on Hong Kong opposition
A spokesperson says China’s ceremonial parliament will consider a bill that could limit opposition activity in Hong Kong
8:29PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump: US flag will be half-staff next 3 days
President Donald Trump says he will order the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff over the next three days as the death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 95,000
7:33PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Rights group: Egypt arrested 10 reporters since virus hit
A local human rights group says the Egyptian government has arrested at least 10 journalists since the coronavirus was detected in the country, seizing on the pandemic to accelerate a long-running campaign against dissent
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Nearly 39 million have lost jobs in US since virus took hold
The U.S. government says the number of Americans thrown out of a job since the coronavirus crisis struck two months ago has climbed to nearly 39 million
10:52PM ( 2 hours ago )
China promises stimulus spending, sets no growth target
China’s top economic official has promised higher spending to revive its coronavirus-battered economy and curb surging job losses
10:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Bank of Japan helps fund small businesses fighting pandemic
Japan’s central bank is providing some $280 billion to banks for financing small and medium-size businesses battling economic hardships brought on by the coronavrius pandemic
11:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Flood raises fears of pollution at Michigan toxic waste site
A massive flood is raising fears of setbacks in a hazardous waste cleanup along a central Michigan river
11:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
FBI says Texas naval base shooting is 'terrorism-related'
The FBI says a shooting at a Texas naval air station that wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead is being investigated as “terrorism-related.”
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Retailers reopening more stores, tourism expanding
Discount retailer TJX has reopened more than 1,600 of its stores worldwide to date
7:03PM ( 6 hours ago )
'Hundreds of millions' in fraudulent jobless benefits paid
Impostors have used the stolen information of tens of thousands of people in Washington state to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits
5:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
Pandemic highlights big box stores' ability to pivot
Big box stores like Best Buy,Target, Walmart and others have been able to capitalize on their digital expertise and stay relevant during the pandemic
5:04PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: US sends Russia 50 ventilators, more to follow
The U.S. has delivered 50 ventilators to Russia as part of a $5.6 million humanitarian donation to help the country cope with the pandemic
12:17PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Virus tests no longer required to enter Serbia
Tests for the new coronavirus are no longer required to enter Serbia
11:07AM ( 14 hours ago )
US existing home sales plunge 17.8% in April
Sales of existing home plunged 17.8% in April as the coronavirus pandemic continued to batter the housing market
11:04AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Trump lashes out at scientists whose findings contradict him
President Donald Trump has been lashing out at scientists whose conclusions he doesn’t like as he pushes to reopen the country during the coronavirus crisis
12:22AM ( 50 minutes ago )
GOP weighs jobless aid cuts to urge Americans back to work
Republicans want to phase out unemployment benefits to encourage Americans to go back to work
12:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump counting on Supreme Court to block probes, lawsuits
The high court is weighing Trump’s bid to block subpoenas for his tax, banking and financial records
12:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian shares fall on US friction with China, Hong Kong fears
Shares are slipping in Asia as tensions flare between the U.S. and China and as more job losses add to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic
11:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
Bank of Japan helps fund small businesses fighting pandemic
Japan’s central bank is providing some $280 billion to banks for financing small and medium-size businesses battling economic hardships brought on by the coronavrius pandemic
11:45PM ( 1 hour ago )