China’s defence budget to grow 7.5 percent in 2010

March 4th, 2010 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 4 (IANS) China plans to increase its defence budget by 7.5 percent in 2010, an official said here Thursday.
The planned defence budget is 532.115 billion yuan (about $78 billion), a rise of about 37 billion yuan from last year’s defence expenditure, Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), told a press conference.

It is the first time China’s defence budget growth rate has dropped to less than 10 percent in recent years, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, Li stressed that the figures would not be final until the budget plan is approved at the NPC annual session due to open in Beijing Friday.

Taking into account China’s large population, its vast territory, and its long coastline, the former foreign minister said the country’s defence budget is “comparatively low”.

China has always taken the road of peaceful development and kept in line with the defensive national defence policy, he said.

He said China’s defence expenditure in recent years accounted for about 1.4 percent of its GDP, whereas the ratio was four percent for the US, and more than two percent for Britain, France and Russia.

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