‘We are a family…’: China on Taiwan as it hikes defense budget by (just) 0.1%

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that Beijing should promote the peaceful development of relations with Taiwan, advancing the process of “peaceful reunification” of China. China should also take firm steps to oppose Taiwan independence, he further said in his work report at the opening of the annual meeting of China’s parliament.

Read more: China sets economic growth target of ‘around 5 percent’ for 2023

He said, “As we Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family bound by blood, we should advance economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait and improve the systems and policies that serve our Taiwanese compatriots.” contribute to the good of ,

China claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, with military activity near the island increasing over the past three years. Beijing has also hit out at Washington, calling out the US for “collusion” with Taipei. Last year, China staged war games around Taiwan in response to a visit to Taipei by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen repeatedly criticized China, disputing Beijing’s sovereignty claims. offered to negotiate with

China also said it would increase its defense spending by 7.2 percent in 2023, compared to 7.1 percent last year. With this, the country will spend 1.55 trillion yuan ($225 billion) on defense this year.

China’s government has also set this year’s economic growth target of “about 5%” as the country attempts to return to normal after the end of its strict Covid-zero policy. Premier Li Keqiang said China would aim to add “about 12 million new urban jobs” this year and bring the urban unemployment rate down to about 5.5 percent.

China registered only three percent growth last year, but the work report states that “under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee, we carried out the COVID-19 response and economic and social reforms in an effective and well-coordinated manner.” advance development”.

It added, “After overcoming great difficulties and challenges, we were able to maintain an overall stable economic performance.”

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