La Chine table sur une croissance de 5 % en 2023 et augmente son budget de défense

The outgoing Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, called to “intensify” army training as well as “preparation for combat” during the annual parliamentary session.

The world with AFP

China unveiled, Sunday, March 5, a prudent growth target for 2023 but an accelerator in its defense expenses, during its annual parliamentary session of nine days which will allow Xi Jinping to stay President five more years.

The defense budget – the second largest in the world after that of the United States – will increase by 7.2 % this year, to 1,553.7 billion yuan (221 billion euros), its strongest increase since 2019.

Faced with nearly 3,000 deputies of the National People’s Assembly (ANP) gathered at the People’s Palace in Beijing for the second day, the outgoing Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, assured that “attempts to contain The exterior continues to intensify “. He called to “intensify” army training as well as “preparation for combat”, while Sino-American tensions, especially around the question of Taiwan, increase.

After three years of slowdown due to anti-Cavid restrictions, “the Chinese economy is experiencing a solid recovery”, also stressed Mr. Li. The objective set for 2023, “approximately 5 %”, is however the ‘One of the weakest for decades. In 2022, the Chinese gross domestic product had increased by only 3 %, against the backdrop of global economic slowdown, covid-19 epidemic, confinements and a crisis in real estate.

“The economic development of China has come up against multiple unexpected factors, both inside the country and abroad, as the epidemic,” said Li Keqiang on Sunday. However, “under the strong direction of the Central Committee of the Party, we have effectively coordinated the prevention and control of epidemics and economic and social development”, he added.

The parliamentary session will decide the renewal, for five years, from Xi Jinping to the head of the State as president. The 69 -year -old leader had already been confirmed as party leader in October. As every year, few surprises are expected from this carefully orchestrated event, during which the thousands of men and women politicians from different provinces go to Beijing to vote without opposition or almost pre-approved texts by the Chinese Communist Party ( PCC) in power. The deputies will discuss several economic and social files, ranging from the strengthening of sex education in schools to the revival of the birth rate, including online harassment.

XI Jinping has met some pitfalls in recent months, with demonstrations at the end of November against his zero covid policy and then a wave of deaths following the abandonment of this decried health strategy. These sensitive subjects will probably not be discussed during this parliamentary session where Li Qiang, a relative of Xi Jinping and ex-chief of the CCP in Shanghai, should be appointed as the new Prime Minister.