News / Asia

    Amid Regional Worries, China Plans 12 Percent Boost in Defense Spending

    China Plans 12 Percent Boost in Defense Spendingi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    March 05, 2014 3:38 PM
    China expects to see stable growth economic growth and plans to boost defense spending by 12 percent this year. At the opening of the National People's Congress in Beijing, the country announced it would spend more than $130 billion on national defense. VOA's Bill Ide reports from Beijing.
    China plans to boost defense spending to $130 billion, a 12 percent increase.

    At the opening of the National People's Congress in Beijing Wednesday, a major political meeting, officials also said they expect the economy to continue to see stable growth of around 7.5 percent this year.

    China's leaders say they faced tough challenges in 2013 including a slowing global economy, fluctuating exports, and natural disasters. Premier Li Keqiang says risks and hidden dangers remain for the world's second largest economy.

    "There are still many problems people are unhappy with," Li said. "Serious and industrial accidents occur frequently. The social safety net needs strengthening and problems of corruption crop up time and time again."

    Li attributes some of the some problems to China's status as a developing country, but acknowledges the government could do a better job.

    Last year, China's leaders spoke at length about corruption. This year at the annual meeting, they talked about the need for transparency of budgets.

    "Governments at all levels should release their budgets and final accounts to the public, and budgets released by government bodies should progressively include details down to itemized expenses," said Li. "Public spending on official overseas visits, official vehicles, and official hospitality should be made public to ensure transparency and make it easy for people to understand and oversee it."

    China's National People's Congress meets once a year to discuss legislation, outline policy direction for the year ahead and approve budgets, including increased defense spending.

    "Last year, we made solid progress in strengthening national defense," Li said. "The armed forces and armed police force are full of new vigor and have enhanced capabilities. This year, we will comprehensively enhance the revolutionary nature of the Chinese armed forces, further modernize them and upgrade their performance and continue to raise their deterrence and combat capabilities in the information age."

    For years, China's military spending has been expanding at a double-digit pace but the officially disclosed figures show it's still one-sixth the size of the Pentagon's budget.

    Even so, Beijing's rapid growth in military spending has increasingly been a point of concern in the region, especially as the country has become more assertive of its territorial claims on land and at sea.

    Li says China will strengthen its research and development of new and high-tech weapons technology and equipment. He also says China will resolutely uphold its maritime rights and interests and build China into a maritime power.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Frank from: O.County, USA
    March 09, 2014 5:37 AM
    What a funny country PRC is! Its nationals are very poor. PRC must change its policy of spending money from wasteful military expansion to domestic affairs such as solving problems of air pollution, poisonous drinking water, toxic food,leaders's corruption, shadow banking leading to explosion of PRC's bubble economy, and other countless evil matters.
    In Response

    by: Matthew from: PRC
    April 01, 2014 10:20 AM
    These problems really exist, but the political system is not easy to be changed in the short run, think back to the WW1,as a victorious nation,China unexpectedly has to cede territory to Japan ! Where's the fair ? "Nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests",Henry John Temple said.You said that you won't attack us,who believe you? When we reduce like Afghan or Iraq, who can hear us?

    by: Nelson from: China
    March 06, 2014 8:03 AM
    It's interesting, China is so dangerous, this nation did not wage wars against other countries for decades, while for the US, wars never ending and ruin many countries and their people.

    by: BlueEyedRonin from: Hawaii
    March 06, 2014 1:29 AM
    With China's increased spending on the sole purpose of "defending" its territory.... disputes or not.... creates a situation that is unfortunately dire...

    Read my blog @ http://bit.ly/1cCZQ5O

    by: Mort Young from: New York
    March 05, 2014 5:25 PM
    I have read the forum rules and object (mildly) to relying on the VoA to declare whether my coming comment, is totally innocent of any attempt to disturb any reader of comments.
    So, my comment:
    Upping the funding of the PLA by 12% does not necessarily mean providing 12% more money for military needs.
    The usual corruption will take at least 2% of that 12%. I like and admire the Chinese, in spite of that, but what exists exists.
    Further, the rationale behind the increased funding is political, not military; it is a cautionary threat that the government will not carry out. China has too many problems to go to war. It is only saying "Boo!"
    Although the youths of the nation have been taught that the West has insulted, historically, China, the war against the West, against Japan, against the Philippines, etc., will only occur when the government of China is threatened with being overthrown.
    That is the key to war by China, just as the key to war by the United States has been locked up for the present, by a population that has had enough of nonsensical wars to last at least a lifetime.

    by: GKoh from: Pacific rim
    March 05, 2014 12:35 PM
    Enhancing the Revolutionary nature of the military this year, could be interpreted in different ways?

    Anyway, regarding PRC's double digit annual defense budget growth for years now, it could be seen as a bit arrogant and hypocritical of all it's hysteria over Japan's recently announced 5% increase spread out over the next 5 years.

    Regardless, there must be a concerted push for a summit of Pac Rim countries, including US, to discuss the need to reduce militarization in general and commit to reducing a new arms race. It must be further discussed how to de-escalate the tensions created by many countries pursuing security and core interests which overlap and conflict with one another. Simply, every country has impassioned beliefs about what is entitled and owned, vis-a-vis it's respective core interests, but there must be compromise, desire to make shared understanding and respect to reduce such conflicting views and tensions. Not unilaterally pursuing absolutist, domineering policies which will only create more mistrust and tension.
    In Response

    by: carlos from: mississauga
    March 05, 2014 4:56 PM
    Why are we buying staff from these people??
    they make money and they just want to spend it in weapons to use it I guess so this is the investor irresponsibility and greedness that is turn ing this world into caos.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.