The central government has proposed a defense budget of 1.45 trillion yuan ($230 billion) for the 2022 fiscal year, a 7.1 percent year-on-year increase, according to a draft budget report submitted to the national legislature on Saturday morning.
The figures were included in the report prepared by the Ministry of Finance and distributed at the opening meeting of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress at Beijing's Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
If approved by lawmakers, the proposed expenditure will maintain single-digit growth for a seventh consecutive year, and will mark the return of a 7-plus percentage increase after slightly slower raises in 2020 and 2021.
The 2021 defense budget was proposed at 1.35 trillion yuan, marking a 6.8 percent year-on-year increase, while that for 2020 was set at 1.27 trillion yuan, a 6.6 percent rise at the time, and the lowest increase since 1988.
The central government has pledged to strengthen China's national defense and military capability, according to the annual government work report delivered on Saturday morning by Premier Li Keqiang at the fifth session of the 13th NPC.
The report said that the armed forces must continue upholding the Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, stick to the goals set by the Communist Party of China, conduct combat training and exercises, and employ firm and flexible countermeasures against provocation to better safeguard sovereignty, security and national interests.
The report requested the military accelerate the upgrade of its logistics, asset management and equipment management systems, deepen reforms, encourage more innovation in defense technology, and attract and train more talented professionals.
The report also vowed to further reform the national defense mobilization system, improve publicity on military knowledge and urged local governments to continue supporting defense and military development.