China will boost its military budget by about 10 percent this year, a legislative spokeswoman said on Wednesday, suggesting that an economic slowdown will have limited impact on the nation’s defense modernization plans.
The precise figure for the military spending will be announced on Thursday when the National People’s Congress (NPC) begins its annual session, the spokeswoman said.
“As a large country, China needs the military strength to be able to protect its national security and people,” NPC spokeswoman Fu Ying said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Our history teaches us a lesson that when we lag behind, we come under attack. We won’t forget that.”
China’s defense budget rose by 12.2 percent last year to about US$132 billion, second only to the US.
Many foreign defense officials and experts believe the Asian giant’s actual military spending may be up to double the official figure.
But that would still be far below the Pentagon’s proposed US$585 billion spending plan for the coming year, the Journal noted.
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