China announced that, from 2018 to 2019, its military spending will grow 7.6 percent to 1.19 trillion yuan (US$177 billion). The “Qiang Guo Internet Forum,” under People’s Daily invited Luo Yuan, a retired PLA admiral to comment on the increase in military spending. Luo said that China’s “limited defense spending” is to safeguard its national sovereignty. Some countries, who adopt a double standard, should not judge it as a “China threat.” The increase was rather because “China feels threatened.”
According to the Central News Agency, Luo said that whenever it is the time for the Lianghui (China’s “Two Sessions”), some western media stir up the “China Threat theory.” The military spending increase is solely for the purpose of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity and for implementing the settlement of retired military personnel and veterans; it will not pose a threat to other countries. Luo commented that the environment around China is not secure. U.S. military ships frequently enter and exit the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, which poses a provocation to China’s sustainable development interests. Luo said, “When some countries show off their military power at the doorstep of our family … Taiwan independence and other separatist forces are eager to move forward. … If, once the country needs it, we don’t make a few moves to win the battle, the PLA won’t live up to the ‘glorious title it has been given.” China’s military goal is to build the army into a “world-class army” but there are still gaps and pressures in these areas. China needs to have a sense of urgency and anxiety.
Source: Central News Agency, March 5, 2019