China's 'reasonable, appropriate' defense budget boost contributes to natl security, world peace: military delegation deputy
Published: Mar 10, 2022 07:47 PM
Lieutenant General He Lei Photo: Courtesy of He Lei

Lieutenant General He Lei Photo: Courtesy of He Lei

China's defense expenditure has kept a reasonable, appropriate increase, and will contribute to safeguarding national security and world peace, a Chinese legislator from military delegation told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Wu Qian, spokesperson of the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police Force delegation to the 5th session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), said in a media interview on Wednesday that China's national defense budget in 2022 received a 7.1 percent increase compared with last year to a total of 1.476 trillion yuan ($233.5 billion), including the 1.45 trillion yuan from the central level.

"The sacred duty of defending national sovereignty, security and development interest and the important responsibility of safeguarding regional and world peace have raised higher demands in developing a solid national defense and a strong military that fit China's international position, security and development interest, leading to the actual needs in defense expenditure," Lieutenant General He Lei, an NPC deputy and former vice president of the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Since the reform and opening up, China's steady economic development not only greatly improved the people's living standards, but also laid down a solid foundation for satisfying the needs of the national defense and military development, and created positive conditions in boosting national defense and the economy, He said.

He noted that China's investment in national defense kept a reasonable and appropriate increase by considering both development and security, integrating the coordinated development of national defense and the economy, and insisting on the thrifty and highly efficient development of the military.

In recent years, China's defense expenditure was mainly used to improve the troops' welfare, enhance the investment in weapons and equipment development, supporting military exercises, carrying out a diversity of military missions among others, He said, noting that China's defense expenditure is still kept at a low level compared with other major military powers, as there are still huge gaps in the figure's percentage in GDP, its percentage in public expenditure, as well as per capita.

"China's defense expenditure has always been public and transparent, and there is no - and no need for the so-called invisible military spending," He stressed, noting that China has been publishing details of its defense expenditure in white papers that have been released since 1998.

He said that China is a socialist country that loves peace and safeguards peace. Under the framework of the UN, China is responsible for carrying out important missions including international peacekeeping, far sea escorts and humanitarian rescue, either alone or with other countries' militaries. With the development of the Chinese military, the international community expects China to play a more important role in international affairs, and expects the Chinese military to provide more international public security goods. The reasonable and appropriate increase of China's defense expenditure will provide solid support to world peace.

There are no genes of invasion and hegemony in the Chinese blood, and China has always been walking on a path of peaceful development, He pointed out.

"No matter how much China invests in national defense, no matter how far China modernizes its national defense and military, China will never seek hegemony, never expand, never seek to set up a sphere of influence, never join an arms race, and never threaten any country. This is a solemn promise China makes to the world," He said.

"Under the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China, the people's military is bound to be a solid force in resolutely carrying out its duties and missions entrusted by the Party and the people, serving the establishment of a community with a shared future, and actively safeguarding peace and stability in the region and the world," He said.