30 April 2017
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  • » 03/04/2017, 13.00

    CHINA

    Beijing increases military spending by 7%. But some want to overtake Trump

    Wang Zhicheng

    Armed Forces budget below 10% for two consecutive years. China must defend itself from "external interference" in territorial disputes. Retired General: We should overtake the US and increase military spending by 12%. The escalation between all the countries of the region.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - This year, China will increase military spending by  "around 7%", to contain the "external interference" in its territorial disputes. This was stated by the spokesman Fu Ying, at a press conference ahead of the National People's Congress, which opens tomorrow.

     

    The spokesman also pointed out that the future of China's military spending will depend on what the US will do in the region.

     

    The reference is to the tensions in the South China Sea, and the islands that China claims as its own. This is why it is implementing the militarization of some of them, to the point of planning the installation of launch pads for surface to air missiles.

    Beijing says it wants to defend its sovereignty and safeguard the freedom of navigation in the area. But the militarization raises concerns and criticism from other countries in the region, which also claim their sovereignty over some of the islands. Among them are Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan. These see US military strength as a guarantee against the abuses of China.

     

    Days ago US President Donald Trump proposed an increase of 10% in military spending in his country and the tension is leading to a military escalation in all countries of the region.

     

    Fu said that China calls for "a peaceful solution through dialogue and consultation [of the territorial disputes]. At the same time we need to safeguard our sovereignty, our interests and our rights. " In particular, he added, "we need to be vigilant against external powers meddling in disputes."

     

    The increase in military spending this year is in line with the past. Until two years ago the increase was 10-12%. But there is pressure for China to increase the funds for the army.

    On the sidelines of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which takes place almost simultaneously with the NPC, a retired general, Wang Hongguang, said that "since the military budget of the USA increased by 10%, we also need to increase in double figures. The ideal would be a 12% increase".

     

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    See also

    04/03/2008 CHINA
    Beijing under control for the National People's Congress
    Millions of soldiers and volunteers to guarantee the security of the NPC and the advisory conference. Hu Jintao, assured of his leadership, will enact a restructuring of the ministers. A 17.6% increase in military spending is already guaranteed. The population continues to be marginalised, unable to present petitions. The new laws on protections for workers are not acceptable to the members of the Chinese communist party.

    04/08/2011 ASIA
    South China Sea: Beijing close to a deal with Hanoi but far from Manila
    China and Vietnam agree to “peaceful measures” to settle their border dispute through cooperation and bilateral relations. Tensions between Beijing and Manila are up as China threatens the Philippines after Manila builds a military structure on one of the Spratly Islands.

    29/11/2012 CHINA - PHILIPPINES - VIETNAM
    South China Sea, China will allow the boarding of foreign ships
    After new passports with distorted maps, the communist regime announced that the Coast Guard of Hainan province can dock and control vessels for non-Chinese "who illegally enter territorial waters." The reference is to the maritime areas that Beijing is trying to snatch unilaterally from other governments in the area.

    15/06/2011 CHINA – VIETNAM
    South China Sea: Beijing excludes the use of force, but warns US
    Beijing tries to reduce tensions with Vietnam and the Philippines, urging them “to do more” for “peace and stability”. It also wants issues to be settled through bilateral talks. Hanoi prefers instead a “multilateral” approach, whilst Manila calls for US help. China warns that “internationalising” the issue will make matters worse.

    13/06/2011 VIETNAM – CHINA
    South China Sea: Beijing slams Vietnamese naval drill
    Vietnam started a nine-hour live naval drill in the morning; a second one is set for the evening. No missiles will be used. For Hanoi, the action is a routine annual exercise, but Chinese media see it as a military challenge against Beijing. In Vietnam, more protests are held against Chinese claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands.



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