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China People's Congress

China defense budget grows 7.2% despite other 'belt-tightening'

Military spending outpaces GDP growth; Beijing keeps firm stance on Hong Kong and Taiwan

A military delegation crosses Tiananmen Square on the way to a meeting as the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) gets underway in Beijing on March 4.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's annual defense spending is set to grow by 7.2% this year, well above the country's economic growth target of "around 5%," amid high tensions with the U.S. and festering disputes over Taiwan and the East and South China Seas.

The Ministry of Finance submitted its annual budget plan to the National People's Congress on Tuesday, the same day Premier Li Qiang delivered his government work report and reiterated Beijing's firm stance on matters such as Taiwan and Hong Kong security. The defense increase will bring the budget for 2024 to nearly 1.67 trillion yuan ($232 billion).

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