China Plans on Increasing Defense Budget in 2023 by 7.2%

According to a report the Chinese government released on March 5, 2023, China plans to increase its defense budget by 7.2% this year to 1.553 trillion yuan (roughly $224.85 billion).

This report was released at the start of the 14th National People’s Congress (China’a supreme legislative body). “National defense spending is 1.553 trillion yuan [in 2023], with a 7.2% increase,” the document noted.

Before the release of this report, Wang Chao, spokesman for the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress, highlighted that the increase in China’s defense budget “is dictated by the need to respond to complex security challenges as well as the need to fulfill the obligations of a major power”.

In 2022, China boosted defense spending by 7.1% to 1.451 trillion yuan (roughly $229.07 billion) and in 2021 by 6.8% to 1.356 trillion yuan (approximately $209 billion).

Russian state media outlet TAAS noted that several international organizations, which includes the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), argue that China significantly understates the official figures on the military budget. It’s actual spending levels may actually be 25-50% higher. Per the analysts, the published data do not include various key figures such as spending on strategic forces, defense research and development, the importation of foreign weapons, People’s Armed Police and other paramilitary forces. On top of that, provincial government spending on military functions is not included in the data.

As China grows stronger, it will invariably begin to assert itself in its traditional sphere of influence. This is to be expected. However, the universalist crowd wants to continue dialing up tensions with China and Russia for the sake of preserving American hegemony, consequences be damned. 

Such a foreign policy mindset will invariably lead the US down the path of nuclear conflict if it doesn’t get its act together.

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