China’s defense budget to grow 12.7% in 2011: spokesman

Xinhua

China said Friday it plans to raise its defense budget by 12.7 percent to 601 billion yuan (91.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2011, compared with an increase of 7.5 percent last year.The year’s draft defense budget was 67.6 billion yuan more than 2010, and accounted for about 6 percent of the country’s total budget, said Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of China’s national legislature.

“The government has always tried to limit military spending and it has set the defense spending at a reasonable level to ensure the balance between national defense and economic development,” said Li.

The former foreign minister said China’s defense expenditure is transparent and defensive in nature.

“There is no such thing as the so-called hidden military expenditure in China, and the budget is subject to auditing from the government and military,” he said.

The bulk of the spending would go towards moderately improving armament, military training, human resource development, infrastructure of grassroots units and the living standards of the servicemen, said Li.

“China is committed to peaceful development and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature,” said Li.

He said, compared to the world’s average, China’s military spending is low given its 1.3 billion population, vast land and long coastal lines.

The ratio of China’s military spending in its total gross domestic product (GDP) is lower than many countries, said Li.

While China’s military spending amounts to about 1.4 percent of its GDP, “that ratio in India is much higher than 2 percent as far as I know,” said Li in response to a question from an Indian journalist.

China’s military spending is dwarfed by that of the United States which, at 725 billion U.S. dollars, accounted for about 4 percent of the country’s GDP for the 2011 fiscal year, said Major General Luo Yuan, a researcher with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Military Science Academy.

“The limited military strength of China is solely for safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity and would not pose a threat to any country,” said Li.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Mar 4 2011. Filed under All News, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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