China hikes its defence budget to $209 billion
Beijing: China on Friday hiked its defence budget for the first time to more than USD 200 billion, over three times higher than that of India, maintaining a single-digit growth for the sixth consecutive year with a 6.8 per cent increase in 2021.
Last year, China allocated 1.268 trillion yuan (about USD 196.44 billion), according to the state-run Global Times. China’s annual defence budget maintains a single-digit growth for a sixth consecutive year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The budget increase, released in a draft budget report issued at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, on Friday, is slightly higher than the 6.6 percent hike in 2020 when the country and the rest of the world were still struggling to fight the unprecedent COVID-19 pandemic that upended the globe.
Intensive combat training to integrate weapons, equipment and people together as well as to get prepared for any potential military threats also needs expenditure, and non-combat military operations like the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic are also costly, analysts said.
China is the second biggest spender of defence after the US.