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China to boost military budget amid rising tensions

China to boost military budget amid rising tensions
© Twitter/China National Space Administration

China is expected to boost its military budget this upcoming year as tensions rise between the country and the United States.

The announcement of the increase is expected to happen on March 5 when parliament opens for the year, experts tell Reuters. 

Ross Babbage, a non-resident fellow at the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told Reuters he expects China’s military budget to go up by 7 percent. 

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Although some predict more, Babbage believes the impact of the coronavirus on the country will prevent it from increasing the budget by more than 7 percent. 

China and U.S. tensions have been rising for years, particularly in regard to Taiwan, the democratic crackdown in Hong Kong and Beijing's military activity in the South China Sea. 

Last year, China was only able to have a 6.6-percent boost to its defense spending due to the impact the coronavirus had on the country’s economy. 

However, many experts do not believe China has been forthcoming with the real numbers they spend on their military budget.

“The U.S. military wants to preserve its overwhelming advantage in nuclear and space, and China wants to upset this. More spending is definitely needed,” Wang Xiangsui, a retired senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army and a professor at Beihang University in Beijing, told Reuters.