China's defense budget in 2018 grows by 8.1%

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/5 9:13:07

China's defense budget in 2018 will be 1.1069 trillion yuan ($174.5 billion), an 8.1 percent increase from last year. The third year that the country set a single-digit growth rate, which analysts believe will become a "new normal" in China.

The defense expenditure in 2017 was 1.0226 trillion yuan, according to the report available to media before the first session of the 13th National People's Congress opening on Monday morning.

China's 2017 defense budget increased 7 percent from 2016 to a total of 1.04 trillion yuan ($152 billion). China increased its military spending 7.6 percent in 2016, 10.1 percent in 2015, 12.2 percent in 2014 and 10.7 percent in 2013.

The single-digit growth will become a normal situation, said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator.

Echoing Song, a Beijing-based military expert, who requires anonymity, told the Global Times that whether the budget soars depends on the security situation China faces domestically and internationally.

The budget also depends on China's economic development and its comprehensive national power, said the anonymous expert.

As China slowed down its economic growth slightly, the budget for national defense is set at a safe level, he added.

The defense budget number accounts for less than 1.5 percent of the GDP and the per capita expenditure is also lower than other major countries in the world. This shows China insists on peaceful development and a defensive defense strategy, said Song.


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