The Chinese government revealed plans to raise its defense budget by 12.2 percent to 808.2 billion yuan (about 132 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014. Commenting on the decision, Chen Zhou, deputy to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) said that China's increase in military spending is in line with the development level of the Chinese economy.
According to Chen Zhou, China's national defense spending has maintained a moderate growth pattern in recent years, and has always adhered to two basic principles: One is that national defense spending should increase in line with economic development. The other is that national defense spending should meet the demands of national defense.
Chen said that the present increase in national defense spending of China represents compensation for previous serious shortfalls. Along with the rapid development of the economy, the government has the means to expand its investment in the military and national defense, and the growth in national defense spending has now entered a phase of "mutual promotion and concerted development between national defense and the peacetime economy".
China's GDP growth reached 7.7 percent last year, and the share of defense spending did not exceed 1.5 percent of total GDP. In contrast, the national defense spending of most countries worldwide accounts for 2 to 4 percent of their total GDP (up to about 4 percent in the case of USA). Therefore, compared with other countries, China's defense spending is a relatively low component of its fiscal revenues. National defense and military modernization are developing in tandem with the economy, according to Chen.
In addition, Chen assesses that China's security environment and neighboring environment are changing, and the security problems faced by China are becoming more comprehensive, more complex, and more variable. In particular, the problem of marine security is becoming more prominent. Therefore China needs to increase its national defense spending so as to reinforce the construction of its navy, air force and other military forces.