China’s defense budget for 2013, released on March 5, shows an increase of 10.7 percent over last year. Although the increase has been widely reported in foreign media and some members of the U.S. Congress are concerned, some mainland observers pointed out that China’s military spending growth is moderate.
Ma Gang, a director at China’s National Defense University, believes a country’s military spending mainly is a function of the needs to safeguard national sovereignty and carry out international responsibilities, as well as its economic development. In recent years, with the growing sovereignty and security challenges, the responsibility of defending national interests, the obligations for international security as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and steady economic development, it is a normal phenomenon for there to be a double digit increase in military spending. Ma said that there is still a gap between the growth in China’s military spending and China’s actual needs. Future military spending growth will still be a function of national security and economic development.
Since the 1990’s, China’s annual defense spending has generally maintained double-digit increases. In 2010, it dropped to 7.5 percent, but double-digit increases resumed in 2011.
Source: People’s Daily, March 8, 2013