07:42 GMT +3 hours26 May 2016
In this file photo soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China arrive on their armoured vehicles at Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015

China's 2016 Defense Budget May See 'Sharp' Rise

© REUTERS/ Damir Sagolj
Asia & Pacific
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China’s 2016 defense budget may see a sharp year-on-year increase consistent with structural army reforms and South China Sea tensions, national media reported Wednesday.

BEIJING (Sputnik) – The annual military budget is expected to be presented at the annual National People’s Congress (NPC) legislative assembly on March 5 in Beijing.

Observers cited by the Global Times daily said the possible defense budget increase would be "justified as the nation's armed forces undergo structural reforms to boost their combat capability and face an increasingly complicated military situation as a rising power."

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post cited anonymous sources close to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) this week forecasting a 20-percent hike to the budget, the highest since 2007.

"I think the budget reported in the SCMP might be too high," Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong told the Times.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping announced last September that the PLA would cut its ranks by 300,000 to total 2 million troops by 2017, still maintaining its lead as the world’s largest army.

The country’s defense budget ranks second in volume to that of the United States. China’s military expenditures neared $130 billion last year, a 12.2 percent year-on-year increase from 2013.

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  • Anton KOMAROV
    China like all other countries has the right to defend itself against aggresion.Why the huge fuss.If the USA or Nato increase their budgets,there is little outcry(this is happening right now with Victoria Newlands touring Europe to try to pressure the EU to up their military budget -as usual the USA wants them to buy their armaments).
    No country has the fundamental rght to oppress another,so why are the Americans still behaving as if the South China Sea (as one example)is theirs to control even though it is not their territorial waters.International Seas/waterways do not belong to one nation-for too long we have been forced to kowtow to the USA's diktat.
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