China Power

Budget Surprise

The government announces a surprisingly small hike in defence spending for the coming year.

The government announced its defence budget for the coming year, surprising many analysts with a smaller-than-expected 7.5 percent rise–the smallest rise in a decade and well below the 14.9 percent rise allocated for the current year.

I’ll be getting our defence correspondent’s take on the reasoning behind this apparent change tomorrow. In the meantime though, and of course not wanting to scaremonger, it’s worth remembering two things with these figure: many analysts believe China’s real military budget could be twice the official figure, and a 7.5 percent increase, even if true, is a not an insignificant figure.