Defense Spending In China Will Rise By 6.6%

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China plans to increase defense spending in 2020 despite the expectation of dramatically reduced economic growth, maintaining pressure on neighboring countries to protect their own defense budgets from cuts.

The defense budget will rise by 6.6% to 1.268 trillion yuan ($179.2 billion), Premier Li Keqiang says.

The growth rate is the slowest since the early 1990s, but it indicates that Beijing intends to keep military modernization on track despite the economic and fiscal consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.


While the reduction in growth from 2019’s rate in part reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also consistent with a longer-term trend of smaller increases in the budget approximately tracking the slowing expansion of an increasingly mature Chinese economy. Defense spending increases averaged 14% in the decade prior to 2015 but only 8% since then.