At a meeting of national parliament deputies, it was announced that China had set a 2023 economic growth target of around 5 percent. It also emerged that China plans to increase defense spending by 7.2 percent this year, which is more than projected GDP growth, Reuters notes. This is the fastest pace since 2019 amid rising tensions with the US. China has said it wants to have a “world-class military” by 2027.
In 2023, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is expected to receive funding totaling 225 billion US dollars, according to the annual report of the Chinese Ministry of Finance released on March 5 at the start of the session of the NPC. Spending on the People’s Liberation Army has increased by at least 6.6 percent each year for the past three decades, keeping pace with economic growth and often even exceeding it, Bloomberg notes.
Meanwhile, in fiscal year 2022, the US spent $767 billion (or 12 percent of its budget) on national defense, according to the US Treasury Department. Data showed this is about a two percent more than the $755 billion spent in 2021.