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China Expands Defense Budget 7.2%, Marking Just .1% Increase

China on Sunday announced a 7.2% increase in its defense budget for the coming year, just .1% higher than in 2022.

That marks the eighth consecutive year of single-digit percentage increases in what is now the world’s second-largest military budget. The 2023 figure was given as 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion).

Along with the world’s largest standing army, China has the world’s largest navy and recently launched its third aircraft carrier. According to the US, it also has the largest aviation force in the Indo-Pacific, with more than half of its fighter planes consisting of fourth or fifth generation models.

China also boasts a massive stockpile of missiles, along with stealth aircraft, bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons, advanced surface ships and nuclear powered submarines.

China will spend 1.7% of GDP on its military in 2021, according to the World Bank, while the US, with its massive overseas obligations, will spend a relatively high 3.5%.

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China budgeted 1.45 trillion yuan (then $229 billion) for last year — roughly double the figure from 2013. Consistent annual increases for more than two decades have allowed the 2 million-member People’s Liberation Army to increase its capabilities across all categories.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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