China's Defense Budget Growth Slows

08 March, 2019, 10:25 | Author: Frank Williams
  • China,China defence spending,China growth

The growth target announced Tuesday at the opening of the ceremonial national legislature is down slightly from 2018's three-decade low growth of 6.6 percent.

According to PwC's recently published 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey China Report, 73% of CEOs in mainland China believe that global economic growth will improve, compared to 41% of CEOs in Hong Kong and 42% globally.

According to Li, these policies will cut costs for businesses by almost RMB 2 trillion (US$298.3 billion).

According to the plan, Chinese inflation will accelerate to about 3 percent this year from 2.1 percent in 2018.

As the economy slows, the government has unveiled a military budget increase of 7.5 per cent to 1.2 trillion yuan, lower than last year's 8.1 per cent hike.

"China has other national priorities and an over-militarised national economy can deprive the government of much-needed resources, as what had happened to the former USSR", Char said.

Seeking to defuse United States and European complaints the Chinese system is rigged against foreign companies, Premier Li Keqiang promised in a speech to the National People's Congress they will be "treated as equals" with their Chinese competitors.

The target budget deficit for 2019 was set at 2.8 percent of GDP, versus last year's goal of 2.6 percent.

The government will also reduce the social security fees paid by companies to 16 per cent, the premier said.

"From 2016, China's defense budget has kept a single-digit growth, down from the double-digit growth in the [past] five years before 2016", Zhang said.

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"China will face a graver and more complicated environment as well as risks and challenges that are greater in number and size", Li told the National People's Congress.

As expected, Li announced that China would have a growth target of 6-6.5 percent for 2019, down from "around 6.5 percent" previous year.

"It is more urgent for China to prepare for a trade war with the U.S., instead of a physical war", Yue said.

"The China-US economic and trade frictions. had an adverse effect on the production and business operations of some companies and on market expectations", he added.

Smaller firms can expect to have easier access to funds as the premier said that China aims to increase lending to them by large commercial banks by more than 30% this year.

In recent years, China has rapidly constructed islands with military infrastructure in the South China Sea, where it and several Southeast Asian countries have overlapping territorial claims.

A balance will be struck between stabilising economic growth and fending off risks, it said. But the chief US envoy, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, said earlier the two sides still had much work to do.

The country's economic growth has recently slowed, in large part because of the trade war with the US.

Separately, China's top banking regulator said on Tuesday that Beijing could "absolutely" reach an agreement with the United States on opening up its financial sector.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he thought both nations were "on the cusp" of a deal to end their trade war.

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