BEIJING — China’s defense spending this year is set to grow at its fastest pace since 2019, according to the Ministry of Finance plan released Saturday.
Defense spending will rise by 7.1% to 1.45 trillion yuan ($230.16 billion) this year, faster than the 6.8% increase in 2021 and 6.6% climb in 2020, according to official data.
China’s defense spending rose by 7.5% in 2019 to 1.19 trillion yuan.
Total central government expenditures for the general public budget are expected to rise by 14.3% to 13.40 trillion yuan this year, the finance ministry said.
“We will move faster to modernize the military’s logistics and asset management systems, and build a modern weaponry and equipment management system,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a separate annual government work report released Saturday, according to an official English-language version.
Li’s other statements about military development and foreign policy remained in line with those of 2021. He said that “China will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace.”
Li did not mention other major countries in the government work report.
The total U.S. defense budget for 2022 comes in just under $770 billion, up 2% from last year.