China announced on Sunday it’s boosting its military budget by 7.2% for the coming year, up slightly from last year’s 7.1% rate of increase.
The CIA warned that this action is a part of China’s plan to forcefully retake Taiwan in the next five years, which could drag the U.S. into war in East Asia.
Beijing’s decision to increase its military spending expanded its defense budget to $224 billion. China’s military budget has become second in the world to the U.S., which dedicates $816.7 billion to the Defense Department.
The Chinese government said this increase is at an “appropriate” level and will go toward improving the well-being of its infantry.
China’s spending dwarfed in comparison to the U.S. Still, China has built up the world’s largest standing army — the 2 million-member People’s Liberation Army — the largest navy and the greatest aviation force in the Indo-Pacific.
Plus, China has a massive stockpile of missiles, warships, submarines, bombers and stealth fighters.
CIA Director William Burns said Chinese President Xi Jinping has instructed his army to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027. Jinping has claimed Taiwan is a province of China that must be “reunified.”
President Joe Biden repeatedly vowed to defend Taiwan if there is an “unprecedented attack.” And now, concerns are mounting not only over China’s actions with Taiwan but also with Russia.
U.S. officials continue to warn China not to supply lethal aid to Moscow or there will be “serious consequences.”
Due to China’s growing threat, the House created a China Task Force on Capitol Hill that has rare bipartisan support, especially since Congress has become aware the CIA director said China is America’s greatest threat.
At the first primetime hearing for this China Task Force, Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security advisor to former President Trump, talked about China’s military spending.
“Well, I think one useful statistic to keep in mind is that China is spending more on its military than the rest of Asia combined. And yet, that number is still smaller than the amount of money that Xi Jinping is spending on his domestic security apparatus to surveil and oppress his own people. So, it really is fear of his own people,” Pottinger said.
So even with this increase in defense spending, China is still paying more to keep a tight grip on its citizens.