Xi Jinping Continues Efforts to Strengthen Chinese Regime’s Military

By Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.
March 8, 2022 Updated: March 9, 2022

At the latest Chinese Communist Party rubber-stamp legislature, regime leader Xi Jinping told the military to step up the use of law in military engagement with foreign countries.

“Improve the use of law in foreign-related military affairs,” Xi told representatives from the Chinese military and armed police forces at the annual conference in Beijing.

“Make an overall plan [in foreign countries] that combines military operations and fighting by using the law,” Xi, who is also Chinese military’s Commander-in-Chief, added. “Complete the laws and regulations governing military engagement with foreign countries.”

This is the new order following the Chinese regime’s announcement of the proposed 2022 defense budget on March 5, which saw the biggest increase in defense spending to date.

Defense Budget

“China’s defense budget in this year [2022] is 1.45 trillion yuan ($229.4 billion), which is 7.1 percent higher than the budget in 2021,” Chinese state-run media quoted China’s Ministry of Finance, who reported the data after reviewing it at the 2022 government rubber stamp legislature’s conference on March 5.

In 2020, China’s defense budget increased 6.6 percent, and in 2021 was hiked by 6.8 percent, according to the official data.

In fact, China’s defense budget has increased continually starting 34 years ago, when the Chinese regime first announced its defense budget in 1988. The pace of increase is always faster than the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.

Epoch Times Photo
Attendees, many from the Chinese military, listen in the gallery at the opening session of the rubber-stamp legislature’s congress in Beijing, China on March 5, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Su Tzu-yun, Director of the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taiwan, estimated that China’s defense budget has increased 206 percent since 2012 the year Xi took office as Chinese leader.

“The budget has been spent on military personnel, equipment and weapons’ maintenance, and investment in new devices and systems. The first two aspects each share 30 percent of the budget, and the investment in new weapons shares 40 percent of the budget,” Su told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on March 6.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) calculates China’s military expenditures every year, which is always higher than the defense budget Beijing announces.

“Military expenditure may be funded from a number of extra-budgetary or off-budget sources … This is the case in China, the world’s second-largest military spender,” SIPRI wrote in 2017.

Epoch Times Photo
Military delegates stand in formation after the commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution which overthrew the Qing Dynasty and led to the founding of Communist China in Beijing, China on Oct. 9, 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

Preparing for War

At the March 7 meeting, Xi asked the military and armed police forces to make preparations for war.

On March 5, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also emphasized preparing for war when he delivered the Government Work Report at the rubber-stamp legislature’s conference.“[China will] comprehensively enhance military training and combat readiness,” Li said. “Execute the military fights firmly and flexibly.”

Li explained that the military focus in 2022 should be modernizing the weapons and equipment, strengthening  technical innovations, and training the experts for the new era.

“Governments at different levels must give strong support to the development of national defense and the armed forces, so unity between the military and government and between the military and the people will remain rock solid,” Li said.

Epoch Times Photo
Indian Army soldiers demonstrate positioning of a Bofors gun at Penga Teng Tso ahead of Tawang, near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), neighbouring China, in India’s Arunachal Pradesh state on Oct. 20, 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP via Getty Images)

The instructions came amid increasing aggression by the Chinese regime towards self-ruled island Taiwan, as well as heightened military activity in the disputed South China Sea.

Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.