A moderate increase in the defence budget will better enable the military to safeguard the security of the country and the entire world, according to a Defence Ministry spokesman.
"The Chinese government has maintained a 'reasonable, stable' increase in the nation's defence expenditure over the past several years, along with sustained, sound socioeconomic growth, to boost balanced development in defence and economic fields," said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, who is also spokesman for national lawmakers from the armed forces at the ongoing fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress.
He explained that the raised proportion in the defence budget will be used in the military's major programmes, the upgrade of hardware, as well as improvement of training and personnel treatment.
The central government proposed China's defence budget for the 2021 fiscal year at 1.35 trillion yuan ($209.50 billion), a 6.8 per cent year-on-year increase, according to a draft budget report submitted to the national legislature on Friday.
The figures were included in the report prepared by the Ministry of Finance and distributed at the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
The proposed expenditure, if lawmakers approve the budget, will maintain single-digit growth for a sixth consecutive year, and will be slightly higher than that in 2020, which recorded the lowest percentage increase in more than three decades.
Last year, the central government proposed defence spending of about 1.27 trillion yuan, a 6.6pc rise on the 2019 defence budget. That was the lowest growth rate since 1988, when a 3.81pc increase in the defence budget was proposed.
This article originally appeared on China Daily and has been reproduced with permission.