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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Defense spending sees lower growth

By Zhu Zhe and Zhang Haizhou (China Daily)

09:18, March 05, 2012

Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress, at a news conference in Beijing on Sunday. (Feng Yongbin / China Daily)

Budget smaller than other major countries: NPC spokesman

BEIJING - Military spending will see lower growth this year despite new security concerns such as defending citizens and property overseas.

The draft defense budget is 670 billion yuan ($106.4 billion), up 11.2 percent year-on-year, Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of the national legislature, said on Sunday at a news conference.

The growth rate, which Li said is "reasonable and appropriate", is down from last year's 12.7 percent.

Training, maintenance, equipment and salaries account for the largest bulk of military spending, Li said.

Costs for research, procurement, repair, transport and storage of weapons and equipment, are also included in the budget, he said.

In response to concerns of some Western observers that the rising defense budget may pose a threat to world peace, Li made it clear that China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.

Compared to other major countries, military spending is low given the population of 1.3 billion, the vast land area and coast, Li said.

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