The Big Ideas

'Understanding China’s 2021 Defense Budget'

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

'Understanding China’s 2021 Defense Budget'
'Understanding China’s 2021 Defense Budget'
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National People's Congress


National People’s Congress

March 5, 2021
BIG IDEA | 'Like previous years, the first day of the new National People’s Congress session was highlighted by the widely anticipated announcement of China’s 2021 defense budget. This year it is set at 1.36 trillion yuan ($209.16 billion), a 6.8 percent increase from the 1.27 trillion yuan budget set last year.’
‘The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimated that Chinese defense-related expenditure actually reached $240 billion in 2019—nearly 40 percent higher than the official budget ($183.5 billion).’
‘Although estimates vary, China’s military spending is the second highest in the world after the United States. According to the SIPRI, China’s military spending far exceeds that of its neighbors and was greater than the combined expenditure of India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in 2019.’
‘For the past decade, the annual increase in China’s official military spending has outpaced its annual GDP growth, reflecting the priority that Beijing attaches to bolstering its armed forces.’