China increases military budget

World Today

China’s defense budget will surpass $150 billion in 2017, yet it is substantially smaller per capita than military budgets in many other nations.

CGTN’s Han Bin reports.

China increases military budget

China's defense budget will surpass 150 billion dollars in 2017. Yet it is substantially smaller per capita than military budgets in many other nations.

NPC Deputy and Major General at the PLA Academy of Military Science Chen Zhou said he believes China’s defense budget increase is better coordinated with its economic growth. The moderate increase is to deal with rising security challenges.

“The missions and tasks of the Army have greatly changed, and so have its strategic priorities. New challenges are coming from all dimensions, – land, sea, air, cyber and space,” Chen Zhou said. “China feels increasing strategic pressure. The security factors make it necessary to raise the budget. Besides, there’s been a growing need to protect China’s overseas interests.”

Chen Zhou said the increased budget will go primarily to weaponry upgrade and maintenance, as well as personnel and training.

CPPCC Member Yin Zhuo, a retired Rear Admiral and CPPCC member with the PLA Navy Information Committee, added that the systematic transformation of the army over the year is crucial to boost its strength.

“President Xi Jinping says the overall capabilities of the army need to be improved through reforms. This is an efficient transformation towards modernization. Without reforms, money spent on development may not result in real combat strength,” Yin Zhou said. “The new commanding system will speeding up the joint operational capabilities, to gradually narrow the gap with advanced countries.”

Yin Zhuo said reform is aimed at being able to win a war. But this will take years to achieve, and the yearly budget increase is reasonable.

Over the past year, the PLA started implementing a series of major changes to theater levels of command. These are the institutions that plan, command, and sustain joint operations. All this and upgrading equipment and extensive training all need money.

China’s military is undergoing its deepest reforms in decades. The aim is to improve conditions for the armed forces amid rising costs and greater competition. The army is also ready to play a bigger role in peacekeeping and anti-terror activities beyond China’s borders.