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Doubts over China’s military development unfounded

(Global Times)

08:46, August 01, 2012

Today is China's Army Day. A series of activities is being held to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army.

The development of China's military strength has been met with groundless accusations from some countries. They question China's military strategy, defense spending, military technology and other related fields, while overlooking the rationality of the country's military strength development.

China's military spending growth is in accordance with its economic development. According to statistics from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China's military spending in 2010 was $119 billion, less than one-sixth of that of the US. According to SIPRI data, China's military spending only took up 2.1 percent of the nation's GDP, while for the US it was 4.8 percent, Britain 2.7 percent, France 2.3 percent and Russia 4 percent (approximately). This data shows China's military spending is reasonable.

Japan released its 2012 Defense White Paper Tuesday. The paper criticizes the lack of transparency in China's military spending, claiming it has become a regional and international concern. In fact, since 1978, China has published its defense budget every year, and the Chinese government has normalized the publication of the constitution and usage of defense funds in the form of a white paper since 1995.

Another misinterpretation of China's military strength lies in exaggerating some of China's breakthroughs in the high-tech sector. Some even saw China's Shenzhou spacecraft as an outer space weapon platform with certain strike ability. As a world power, there is nothing surprising about China exploring the high-tech sector.

The Ministry of National Defense pointed out yesterday that China's military equipment technology lags greatly behind the world's advanced military level, when responding to a question on whether China acts too softly in diplomacy and defense.

One scenario is for China to be confronted by increasing security pressures in surrounding areas with the US' high-profile return to Asia. The US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed in early June that the US plans to deploy 60 percent of its navy fleet to the Pacific while some countries continue to provoke China in their maritime territorial disputes.

On the one hand, many Western countries put security pressure on China, and on the other, they exaggerate China's military strength development. China has been restrained in ensuring its security environment, and has not been trying to provoke others. It should be treated fairly.
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