NPC: China's defense budget to rise 12.7%

13:08, March 04, 2011      

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Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), answers questions from journalists during the news conference on the Fourth Session of the 11th NPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)

China has planned to raise the country's national defense spending by 12.7 percent over 2010 to a total of 601 billion yuan (US$91.5 billion) this year, said the spokesman of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, on Friday.

The budget will be reported by Premier Wen Jiabao to the legislature which opens on Saturday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The NPC is expected to approve it.

Li Zhaoxing, the spokesman, told a press conference that China's defense budget accounts for about 6 percent of the country's national budget, which is lower than in other countries.

The increased budget would go to appropriate hardware spending and salary increases for the 2.3 million people in the People's Liberation Army, Li said.

“The government has always tried to restrict military spending, and it has set the defense budget at a reasonable level to ensure the balance between national defense and economic growth, “ said the spokesman.

He also said that China's defense expenditure is transparent, and China's defense improvement is defensive in nature, adding that China's return to double-digit growth of defense spending is not a threat to other countries.

Affected by the global financial crisis and economic slowdown, China's defense budget for 2010 increased only 7.5 percent year-on-year.

The National People's Congress will discuss China's latest five-year economic development plan from 2011 to 2015, which will be approved during the legislature's 10-day session. The country is expected to feature a shift from rapid economic growth to higher quality, more sustainable development with a greater emphasis on services and a broader distribution of wealth, analysts say.

At the news conference, Li also revealed that Beijing has targeted at 4 percent inflation rate for 2011, as compared to last year’s target of 3 percent. He said that the government will be vigilant to do its best to keep price rises at bay.

People's Daily Online

(Editor:梁军)

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