China on Friday increased its defence budget to $209 billion, a 6.8 per cent hike compared to the last year. China’s defence budget hike was announced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the country’s Parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC).
Defending the increase, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the NPC, told media here that China’s efforts to strengthen the national defence do not target or threaten any country.
Whether a country poses a threat to others depends on what kind of defence policy it pursues, he said, adding that China is committed to the path of peaceful development and adheres to a defence policy that is defensive in nature.
This is the first time that the country’s defence budget crossed the $200 billion mark and reached $209 billion.
The budget is around a quarter of the US which is $740.5 billion for 2021.
The country on Friday also projected its annual economic growth for 2021 at 6 per cent.
India too hiked its defence budget by around 1 per cent, increasing spending to ₹3.47 trillion ($47.4 billion), compared to ₹3.43 trillion in the last fiscal.
India is one of the top 5 largest spending countries when it comes to defense. This year the Government of India has allocated ₹ 4,78,196 crore. The majority of this budget goes into maintenance and paying salaries and pensions. There is an overall 1.4% hike in the budget which is roughly Rs 7,000 crores.