China’s defence budget to grow nearly 13 percent in 2011

March 4th, 2011 - 12:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 4 (IANS) China Friday said it plans to raise its defence budget by 12.7 percent to 601 billion yuan ($91.5 billion) in 2011, compared with an increase of 7.5 percent last year.

The year’s draft defence 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 defence spending at a reasonable level to ensure the balance between national defence and economic development,” Xinhua quoted Li as saying.

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

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 defence policy that is defensive in nature,” said Li.

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

“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.

China’s military strength in 2009 was over two million.

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