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Shilpa Shetty faces racism at Sydney airport        Pakistan’s friendship offer to India should not be seen as weakness, says PM Imran Khan        India thrash Pakistan by 9 wickets        Naomi Osaka pulls out of Wuhan Open        Hasan, Asghar, Rashid fined 15 per cent of their match fees        Ready to be sacked if ATK do not fare well: Coppell        Sensex ends in red after 1,000-pt flash crash        OYO to hire over 2,000 tech experts, engineers by 2020        Thousands rally across Russia against raising pension age        Pak PM Imran hits out at India, calls its response "arrogant" for cancelling talks        Sisodia, AAP MLAs discharged in case related to 2014 protest        We have no role in selection of Reliance Defence for Rafale deal: Govt        Modi, Ambani carried out Rs 1.3 lakh cr 'surgical strike' on defence forces: Rahul on Rafale issue        Chekka Chivantha Vaanam: Second trailer released        Golden Globe Race: Indian Navy Officer Abhilash Tomy injured; INS Satpura dispatched for rescue        India Calls Off Talks With Pak, Says "Imran Khan's True Face Exposed"        Indian govt wanted Reliance for Rafale, we didn't have a choice: Ex-French prez Hollande        Wreckage of Captain Cook’s ship found off US coast        Death toll reaches 136 in Tanzania ferry disaster with scores missing        Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma take India to comprehensive 7-wicket win        
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International News
China increases defence budget
 
(Beijing, Mar 5, 2018): China today announced a 8.1 per cent hike in its defence expenditure for this year to a whopping USD 175 billion, which is over three times higher than India's defence budget, as it seeks to further advance an ambitious modernisation drive for its military.

The 8.1% increase is higher than last year's announcement, when China upped military spending by 7% over the previous year.

According to a budget report to be submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) today, the 2018 defence budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan (USD 175 billion).

China last year increased the defence budget to USD 150.5 billion. China is the second largest spender on defence after the US. The Pentagon has requested a budget of USD 686 billion in 2019, up USD 80 billion from 2017.

The increase of China's defence budget by 8.1 per cent this year, is three times higher than India's latest defence budget of about USD 46 billion.

China's budget announcement comes as President Xi Jinping, the commander in chief of the country's armed forces, focuses on increasing both the sophistication and reach of the country's military.

Though China announced its military spending at about USD 150.5 billion last year, observers say it is considerably higher, considering it is now building two more aircraft carriers in addition to the one already in service as well as addition of new jet fighters, including stealth fighter J-20.

The Chinese Navy also expanded its global reach with flotilla ships sailing through the far-off oceans to expand China's influence.

The official media justified the increase to USD 175 billion, saying although slightly higher than the previous two years, the growth rate is the third time to dip into the single digit since 2013, following 7.6 per cent in 2016 and 7 per cent in 2017.

China's defence budget takes up a smaller share of its gross domestic product (GDP) and national fiscal expenditure compared with other major countries, Zhang Yesui, the spokesperson of the NPC told the media here yesterday.

Its military spending per capita is also lower than other major countries, Zhang said.

"A large part of the growth of the defence budget is to make up for the low military spending in the past and is mainly used to upgrade equipment and improve the welfare of servicemen and women and the living and training conditions of grassroots troops," he said.(PTI)


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