China Announces Increase in Military Spending Amid Rising Tensions With US

BEIJING — China announced a dramatic increase to its military spending on Sunday, March 5th, with a 7.2% rise to 1.55 trillion yuan (about $224 billion) as the world’s second largest economy’s defence budget. The increase comes amid rising geopolitical tensions with the United States on a range of issues, including Taiwan.[0]

The annual National People’s Congress (NPC) session, the supreme legislative body, saw the release of a draft budget report by the Ministry of Finance.[1] The report proposed a defense budget of 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion) for the 2023 fiscal year, a 7.2-percent year-on-year increase.

The military spending increases have been “reasonable” according to Parliament spokesman Wang Chao, president of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.[2] He said that the country’s defence spending as a share of GDP has remained stable over the years, and remains lower than the global average.[2]

Premier Li Keqiang, in his work report presented to the opening session of the NPC, called for the armed forces to boost combat preparedness.[2] The military was instructed to create new strategic guidance, increase their focus on training in combat conditions, and put increased effort into all aspects of military work.[3]

In 2023, the United States military budget is set at $773 billion, more than any other country, with China a far second despite its wider global security responsibilities.[4]

The work report also called for “resolute steps to oppose ‘Taiwan independence'” while sticking to Beijing's call for “peaceful reunification.”[5]

China’s military modernization will not be a threat to any country but a positive force safeguarding regional stability and world peace, Wang Chao said in response to a question at a press conference.[6]

The Chinese leadership stated that they would target an economic growth rate of approximately five percent for the year.[2]

0. “China Defends Growing Military Budget Before Annual Congress” Bloomberg, 4 Mar. 2023,

1. “Govt proposes 7.2% rise in defense budget to $225b” China Daily, 5 Mar. 2023,

2. “China will spend 7.2% more on defence in 2023” The Straits Times, 5 Mar. 2023,

3. “China hikes defence budget by 7.2% to $224 bn, 8th year of increase in a row”, 5 Mar. 2023,

4. “China Defense Spending to Rise 7.2%, Fastest Pace in 4 Years” Yahoo Life, 5 Mar. 2023,

5. “China to Increase Defense Spending by 7.2%” NBC Southern California, 5 Mar. 2023,

6. “China's National People's Congress set to increase defense budget | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News” NHK WORLD, 4 Mar. 2023,

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