Wednesday, March 5, 2008

China Plans Steep Increase in Military Spending

Sustained increases in its annual defense outlays put China on track to become a major military power. China’s military budget for 2008 will increase by 17.6 percent to 417.8 billion yuan, or about $58.8 billion, Jiang Enzhu, spokesman for the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, said at a news conference. This follows a 17.8 percent increase in 2007.

Military experts in the United States and elsewhere say Beijing’s real military spending is at least double the announced figure. But even if it was double, China’s yearly military budget would still be only about one-fourth the size of the Pentagon’s.

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