A draft budget report submitted to China’s top legislature has unveiled the country’s planned military spending for the coming year.
In 2021, China’s defense budget will be around 1.35 trillion yuan (about 200 billion U.S. dollars), up 6.8 percent from last year.
Is China’s military spending too hefty? Is the figure growing too fast? Is the “Chinese military threat,” as hyped by some Western politicians and media outlets, well-grounded?
The answer is no.
China is the world’s second-largest economy and the most populous country with a vast land area.
It has a great length of land border and complex maritime security environment.
And yet, China’s defense budget is around one quarter of the U.S. figure.
Factoring in the country’s vast population of 1.4 billion, China’s planned defense expenditure per capita in 2021 will be approximately 900 yuan (about 140 U.S. dollars).
In sharp contrast, the defense budget of the United States for the 2021 fiscal year is 740.5 billion U.S. dollars, which makes for a per capita expenditure of about 2,230 U.S. dollars.
When measured in terms of the proportion of GDP spent on the defense budget, China’s military spending is undoubtedly at a low level.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service