Beijing: The Chinese Premier made the statement, ‘China will keep upgrading in war preparedness and all the aspects of military training. The interests related to sovereignty, security and development of the country will be protected firmly and with conviction. The circumstances concerning security are changing fast and China has to counter it. In view of this, complete loyalty towards the ruling Communist Party leading the armed forces for the country’s security is necessary. At the same time, rock-solid unity between government and the army, and likewise between the army and the people is important’, said Li Keqiang and announced an 8% hike in the country’s defence expenditure.
This is the highest increase in the Chinese defence expenditure in the last three years. This will take the Chinese defence expenditure to $175 billion (1.1 trillion yuan). Last year China increased the defence expenditure by 7% and took it to $151 billion. With this new increase, China has become the second largest defence spender. The US is the largest with a provision of $716 billion for the next year.
In the month of January, Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed his ambition to become a superpower by developing the Chinese army to world class levels. The Chinese decisions in the past few weeks, appear to be concrete steps in that direction. China had deployed the advanced Sukhoi-35 fighter jets in the ‘South China Sea’. Following this, an announcement of the inclusion of the ‘J-20’ stealth fighters in the ‘Combat Services’ of the air force was made.
Within two days of this deployment, information was revealed that China has made an advanced sea-based anti-missile system. Prior to this, China had also announced the testing ‘mid-course anti-missile defence system’. After this, some media has reported that China is making rapid advances towards making of the ‘Salted’ nuclear bomb capable of much more destruction that the atomic bomb. A few days ago, there were claims that China had developed ‘Electromagnetic Railgun’ and also carried out tests.
As the US has concentrated on the Asia-Pacific region, the ‘South China Sea’ and ‘Pacific’ regions have become important for China; and China has allocated a major part of the defence budget to keep the US influence in this region under check. This includes ‘Stealth Guided-Missile Destroyer’, ‘Anti-Ship Missiles’, ‘Type 002 Aircraft Carrier’ weighing 80 thousand tonnes, ‘J-31 Falcon Stealth Fighter’, ‘Kunlong Amphibious Aircraft’ and ‘DF-17 Hypersonic Ballistic Missile’. Other than this, the intentions of upgrading the nuclear submarines currently operating in the Chinese navy with the help of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ technology have been announced.