Monday, March 12, 2012

China must be transparent over its military spending

China is continuing to beef up its military. This is apparent from the country’s defense budget for 2012, which was made public at the opening session of the People’s National Congress on Monday.

The country’s defense spending for this year totals about 670 billion yuan (about 8.7 trillion yen), up 11.2 percent over the previous year and the second-largest figure after that of the United States.

China has maintained double-digit growth in defense spending since 1989, with the exception of 2010 when its economy was affected by the global recession. During the decade President Hu Jintao’s administration has been in power, China’s defense budget has increased fourfold to reach a level nearly double the size of Japan’s.

Japan and China’s other neighbors are increasingly worried about Beijing’s military buildup. Why is China continuing to expand its military budget? Its explanations are insufficient.

“The budget includes research and purchase costs for all military equipment, including new types of weapons,” a spokesman for China’s parliament said without going into details. Read More

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