China to boost military spending in smallest increase in six years

BEIJING - China said Friday it will boost military spending by about 7 to 8 per cent this year, the smallest increase in six years, reflecting slowing economic growth and a drawdown of 300,000 troops as Beijing seeks to build a more streamlined, modern military.

See Full Article

Fu Ying, the spokeswoman for the National People's Congress, China's ceremonial legislature, told reporters that China needs to consider its defence needs, economic development and the country's fiscal position in drafting the defence budget.

The People's Liberation Army, being trimmed to 2 million troops from 2.3 million, will still be the world's largest standing military. It remains a major priority for China's leaders who have pushed an increasingly aggressive campaign to assert territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea, raising tensions with its neighbours.

This year's budget comes as spending at all levels of government is being curbed because of a drop in the economic growth rate, which fell to a 25-year low of 7.3 per cent in 2015 and is expected to decline further this year. For most years since 2000, China posted double-digit increases in military spending, and this will be only the third time in that period with a single-digit increase, including 2010's increase of 7.5 per cent.

China provides no breakdown of its defence budget and Pentagon and global arms bodies estimate actual military spending may be anywhere from 40 to 50 per cent more, because the official budget doesn't include the costs of high-tech weapons imports, research and development, and other programs.

China says its military is strictly for defensive purposes, but takes a broad view of what constitutes threats to its core interests - including protecting maritime territory that is in dispute with neighbouring countries.

Its aggressive program of building islands on reefs and atolls in the South China Sea as part of its campaign to claim virtually the entire region has unnerved China's neighbours. Meanwhile, China continues a low-level campaign of confronting Japanese ships and aircraft near a set of contested East China Sea islands.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Suspect in Quebec Amber Alert case makes brief initial court appearance

    Canada News CTV News
    SAINT-JEROME, Que. -- The 41-year-old father at the heart of an Amber Alert in Quebec earlier this month made his first court appearance today. He kept his stare fixed to the ground as he briefly appeared before a judge in Saint-Jerome, Que. Source
  • 'The scale is just vast': Authorities, aid workers in Bangladesh overwhelmed by Rohingya refugees

    World News CBC News
    Khanon Zahed survived a killing campaign at home and an epic cross-border escape, only to end up lying on a dirty sheet on the floor of a hallway at a Bangladesh hospital. Five-year-old Zahed is just one of the more than 430,000 Rohingya from Myanmar now sheltering in Bangladesh — an exodus of vast proportions that in the span of only one month has overwhelmed the authorities here and bewildered even the most seasoned aid workers. Source
  • Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months for sexting teen

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Former Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl in a case that rocked Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the White House in the closing days of the race and may have cost her the presidency. Source
  • Warnings issued as record temperatures continue in Ontario, Quebec

    Canada News CTV News
    The first weekend of fall proved to be one of the hottest of the year in southern Ontario and Quebec as heat warnings spanned the area and continue into the week. Temperatures across the southern parts of both provinces exceeded 30 C with the humidex levels approaching the 40s over the weekend, breaking numerous heat records in the process. Source
  • Pennsylvania funeral director arrested over corpse pictures

    World News Toronto Sun
    EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania funeral director has been charged with abusing corpses for allegedly taking cellphone pictures of the dead to “gross out” her friends and family. Twenty-seven-year-old Angeliegha Stewart also faces a marijuana charge, after Monroe County detectives found conversations about deals when they searched her phone last month amid their investigation into the photos. Source
  • Murder charges laid after body found outside N.S. home

    Canada News CTV News
    A 30-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the discovery of a man’s body in New Minas, N.S. Police were called to the rural Nova Scotia address on Lockhart Drive at 9:25 a.m. Source
  • Calif. hot dog vendor whose earnings were seized gets $87Gs from supporters

    World News Toronto Sun
    BERKELEY, Calif. — A California street vendor who was had his money confiscated for selling bacon hot dogs on a Berkeley sidewalk without a permit has received more than $87,000 raised by supporters. The East Bay Times reports Rigoberto Matias on Saturday received a check for $87,921 from Martin Flores, who recorded a video of the Sept. Source
  • Rare comic books stolen in two separate heists, police investigate

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in southern Ontario are investigating two separate thefts of rare comic books valued at more than $300,000. Durham regional police say the owner of a comic book business had both his home and workplace broken into at separate times this month. Source
  • Megyn Kelly says she’s ’done with politics’ in NBC show debut

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Megyn Kelly made her debut as an NBC morning TV host on Monday with the declaration that she’s “kind of done with politics for now.” The former Fox News Channel anchor was in the thick of it during the 2016 presidential campaign, most notably when then-candidate Donald Trump turned on her following her sharp questioning of him in a debate. Source
  • Manitoba mother arrested after child abandoned in stroller

    Canada News CTV News
    BRANDON, Man. -- Police in western Manitoba have charged a mother for abandoning her toddler in a stroller. Brandon police say an 18-month-old girl was left alone in the city's downtown in August. Police say they received a call from a concerned woman who found the child and stayed with her, waiting for her parents to show up. Source