China to hike defence spending by $9 bn in 2008

March 4th, 2008 - 4:03 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 4 (Xinhua) China will increase its defence budget by $9 billion in 2008, a parliament spokesperson said here Tuesday. The proposed budget for 2008 is 417.769 billion yuan ($57 billion), a rise by 17.6 percent or 62.379 billion yuan ($9 billion) from the military spending last year, Jiang Enzhu, spokesman for the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), told reporters.

Jiang said that the defence spending would be raised to increase benefits for military personnel and offset the impact of price hikes.

More money will be spent on education and training in army, he said.

“The increased budget will also be used to upgrade military equipment moderately so as to enhance the troops’ capability of combating a defensive war based on information technologies”, he said.

From 1979 to 1989, China’s defence expenditure actually registered an average annual decrease of 5.83 percent, and its growth in recent years is still far below the increase of fiscal revenues, he said.

China’s military spending from 2003 to 2007 rose by 15.8 percent a year on an average, while fiscal revenues grew 22.1 percent during the same period, Jiang said.

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