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China has announced a 7.2% increase in its defense budget, now totaling 1.6 trillion yuan ($222 billion). The increase in defense spending occurs against the backdrop of heightened tension with the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and others over territorial disputes and military dominance.

This announcement came during the legislature’s annual meeting, where Premier Li Qiang stated, “We will provide stronger financial guarantees for efforts to modernize our national defense and the armed forces on all fronts and consolidate and enhance integrated national strategies and strategic capabilities.”

According to Chinese officials, this budget increase reflects China’s ongoing efforts to bolster its military capabilities, including advancements in stealth fighters, aircraft carriers, and an expanding nuclear arsenal. Despite the official budget figures, experts believe actual military expenditure is higher when accounting for research, development, and foreign weapons purchases.

China’s 2024 military budget expansion follows a 7.2% increase last year, a 7.1% spike in 2022, 6.8% increase in 2021, 6.6% climb in 2020 and 7.5% growth in 2019, according to official data.


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