China has a plan to modernise its 2.3 million strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In a bid to make the world’s largest army a mightier force, the country has decided to reduce the number of personnel and make PLA a two-million-strong force. This move by the neighbouring country is aimed at tackling the present needs and making PLA capable of winning modern wars.
An announcement in this regard was made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his annual work report to the National People's Congress (NPC). According to him, the Chinese military had completed its goal of slashing three lakh troops, reducing the size of the 2.3 million PLA to just two-million-strong force.
Chinese military newspaper, The PLA Daily, reported that the downsizing was done in the number of non-battle personnel. The move comes almost three years after it was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015.
The PLA which was 4.5-million strong till 1980 was first resized to three million in 1985 and later to 2.3 million.
The report comes a day after China announced a 8.1 per cent hike in its defence expenditure for this year to a whopping USD 175 billion, which is over three times higher than India's defence budget.
China announced a 8.1 per cent hike in its defence expenditure for this year to a whopping USD 175 billion, which is over three times higher than India's defence budget.
The 8.1% increase is higher than last year's announcement, when China upped military spending by 7% over the previous year.
According to a budget report to be submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) today, the 2018 defence budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan (USD 175 billion).
China last year increased the defence budget to USD 150.5 billion. China is the second largest spender on defence after the US. The Pentagon has requested a budget of USD 686 billion in 2019, up USD 80 billion from 2017.
(With PTI Inputs)