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China increasing military spending
China plans to increase its military spending by 7.2% this year to a total budget of 1.56 trillion Yuan or approximately $230 billion. The spending increase comes as China continues its efforts to build a "world-class" military by 2049. It also reflects tensions between China and the US, as American officials have warned against potential Chinese aggression towards Taiwan and Russia, and China has accused the US of providing weapons to Ukraine. China's military spending, however, still pales in comparison to that of the US. CIA Director William Burns has stated that Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered his military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027, although this does not necessarily mean that he will do so. Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated after US lawmakers visited the island, and China conducted live-fire drills surrounding Taiwan, which simulated an invasion. Taiwan has been an autonomous democracy since it split from mainland China in 1949, and the Chinese Communist Party has claimed ownership of the island ever since.
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