On March 7, at the 4th Session of the 13th National People’s Congress, Wu Qian, spokesperson for the PLA and the Armed Police Force delegation said that China’s defense expenditure would be 1,379.544 billion yuan (US$212.4 billion) in 2021, an increase of 6.8 percent over the previous year.
In explaining the reason for the steep increase in the military budget, Wu said, ”A strong country must have a strong army, and a strong army can ensure national security. National defense is as important as sunlight and air. At present, the instability and uncertainty of international security have become more prominent. The Covid-19 epidemic is raging around the world. Hegemonism, power politics, and unilateralism are on the rise from time to time. Regional conflicts and local wars exist continuously. The international security system and order are under attack. The risks and challenges in homeland security that China is facing cannot be ignored. Land border disputes have not yet been completely resolved; island territorial issues and maritime delimitation disputes still exist; the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) authorities stubbornly adhere to the separatist stand of “Taiwan independence,” which is the biggest real threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. In view of the current complex situation, it can be said that the world is not peaceful, and national defense must be strong.”
Source: website of Chinese Defense Ministry, March 8, 2021