China announced it will boost its military budget by nearly $230 billion this year amid concerns it will launch an invasion of Taiwan.
The money is set to ‘boost combat preparedness and enhance military capabilities,’ claimed Premier Li Keqiang ahead of a draft budget presented to the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
It means China’s military spending will grow at its fastest pace in four years and take up a larger share of its economy, marking the reversal of a two-decade trend which has seen the nation prioritize growth over its military capabilities.
Defense expenditure will increase by 7.2 percent in 2023 which works out as $224 billion – way ahead of the 5.7 percent increase in general public expenditure.
The move will no doubt spook the US government which is concerned by Beijing’s strategic intentions in the wake of rising tensions with Taiwan.
Read more: China increases its military budget by 7.1% – $230BN – to ’boost combat preparedness’ for ‘major tasks’ amid fears it will launch an invasion of Taiwan