Chinese Military’s Unlimited BudgetPosted: March 10, 2017
Why does China not increase its military budget in response to Trump’s 10% rise in US military budget?
To answer the question, SCMP says in its report on March 9, 2017 titled “Is China avoiding arms race with US by setting ‘low-key’ defence budget?”, “‘A 7 per cent defence budget increase rate for the world’s biggest army was carefully decided and aimed at keeping China from becoming tangled in an arms race with the United States’, Chinese military experts say.”
“However, overseas military analysts said Beijing’s apparent attempt to downplay the sensitivity of the nation’s defence budget figure would stimulate more speculation over its accuracy and the People’s Liberation Army’s strategic development,” the report continues.
First, the idea is entirely wrong that China’s military spending is limited by NPC (National People’s Congress, China’s parliament). We shall see that China is an autocracy instead of a democracy like the United States. How much Chinese military spends does not require NPC approval. According to Chinese Constitution, NPC has supreme power, but in fact, it is but a rubber stamp that will approve everything the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) tells it to approve.
Therefore, the military budget approved by NPC does not restrict China’s military spending like U.S. budget does. The budget is a carefully determined figure to please Chinese people and ease other countries’ concerns.
Second, due to China’s history of being bullied and invaded by foreign powers for nearly one century, China regards national security as its top priority and is willing to spend as much as it needs for its defense. As a result, Chinese military has an unlimited budget.
It is especially so now as China is under US threat of attack. The US sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to the area near China in order to force China to accept an arbitration award that entirely denies China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea. If China had not built its seven artificial islands with airports on them and a strong navy and air force, it would have been bullied and humiliated by a foreign power again.
Under such circumstances, there is no limit to Chinese military’s spending. It can spend as much as it needs and China can afford. Why? China is now strong enough to defend its rights and interests in the South China Sea, but the threat of US attack has not been removed. Remember, a senior US officer said that the US needed B-21 prompt strike bombers if it wants to bomb Beijing. Sure enough, the US is now spending billions of dollars to develop B-21. It certainly means that the US has the desire to bomb Beijing!
However, does that mean that Chinese military can spend at will? No, it has to obtain approval from China’s top leader before it can get funds from China’s exchequer.
Who is the top leader that controls both the exchequer and the Chinese military? It is Xi Jinping, the core of CCP collective leadership who has the final say.
Xi’s Chinese dream is the rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation. He certainly is willing to provide Chinese military as much funds as necessary for China’s defense.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2077391/china-avoiding-arms-race-us-setting-low-key-defence.