BEIJING (AP) — China is raising its defense spending in 2022 by 7.1% to $229 billion, up from a 6.8% increase the year before. Saturday’s announcement marks a continuation of the robust spending that has given China an increasingly powerful military that is challenging the U.S. armed forces’ dominance in the Indo-Pacific region. China has the world’s second-largest defense budget after the U.S., allowing it to maintain the largest standing military, with 3 million personnel and an arsenal of advanced weaponry, including two aircraft carriers with more on the way. China has maintained the drive to expand and modernize despite high levels of government debt and a slowing economy, partly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
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