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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Three implications of China's rising defense budget

(Xinhua)

08:11, March 06, 2012

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Among the medley of various conjectures surrounding China' s military budget this year, there are three points that should not be missed out if one is to correctly understand China's intentions behind its military postures.

First, it' s a reflection of the government' s adherence to its central task - economic development.

Considering the coordinating relations between national defense and economic development, the moderate growth of 11.2 percent in defense budget this year is a clear declaration that China will not deviate from its top priority of economic development, or casually change its military policies because of disturbances out of China. Nor will it join any form of arms race.

Some western analysts always exaggerate China' s military expenditures, and a few have claimed that China's military budget will swell to 160 billion U.S. dollars this year. These are typical misunderstandings of China' s development mode and aims.

China said Sunday it plans to raise its defense budget by 11.2 percent to 670 billion yuan (106.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012.

Second, it displays the Chinese government' s confidence in coping with its ever-more-complicated exterior environment.

Instead of leapfrog, China has always adopted moderate rise in defense budget, based on the steady rise of its comprehensive national power, the stable modernization of its national defense and military build-up, as well as its accumulation of experiences in dealing with the ever-changing global environment. The Chinese government has the capability of handling various global risks and tests calmly. It will not, as some foreign analysts suggest, make a drastic response to, or overreact to, the so-called "worsening of global security" .

Third, it delivers an explicit message that China is adamant in maintaining the national security and global peace.

China is committed to the path of peaceful development and follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. The appropriate increase in its military spending is to meet the necessary demands for military modernization, to safeguard a secure and stable environment for the country' s development and to enhance China' s supportive force for the global and regional security. As the history has proved, with military power in reasonable growth, China will help maintain the strategic equilibrium in the world and boost the regional security and stability better.

(The article is contributed by Wen Bing, a researcher with the national defense policy research center of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People' s Liberation Army of China.)

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