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    China to Increase Military Spending by More than 11 Percent

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    The Chinese regime announced on Sunday that its defense spending will rise by 11.2% this year, bringing military spending up to more than 100 billion US dollars. China's military spending has enjoyed double digit growth for years...and is only topped by that of the US.

    China's National People's Congress spokesman Li Zhaoxing announced yesterday that Beijing will boost military spending by 11.2% to about $106.4 billion in 2012.

    This figure doesn't include all of China's defense-related spending. There is possibly a large amount of invisible military spending.

    [Wen Zhao, Political Commentator]:
    "So the defense budget basically leaves out several areas. The first is modern weapons development, such as aircraft carriers, stealth fighter jets, nuclear submarines and ballistic missiles. The second part is foreign procurement...The third part is paramilitary spending; the Chinese regime has a very large so-called armed police, which is actually a military system. And this expenditure is not included in the defense budget."

    The increase in military expenditure is slightly less than the one in 2011, which was 12.7%. But it's enough to draw concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Li Zhaoxing tried to calm concerns at the press conference that (quote)"China's limited military strength is aimed at safeguarding sovereignty, national security and territorial integrity and will not pose a threat to other countries"..."China has 1.3 billion people, a large territory and long coastline, but our defense spending is relatively low compared with other major countries."

    But a senior research fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in India named Partha told Voice of America that it is not credible to use China's huge population, vast territory, and a long coastline as excuses to increase military spending.