China declares a 14.9 per cent rise in defense spending
Beijing, Mar 4 (ANI): China, on Wednesday declared that its defense spending would rise by 14.9 per cent in 2009, but assured that its expanding military power posed no threat to the rest of the world.
The Dawn quoted China's parliament spokesman, Li Zhaoxing as saying, 'China's defense expenditure for the year will increase modestly.'
The defense budget for 2009 is 480.686 billion yuan (70.2 billion dollars), an increase of 62.482 billion yuan from the previous year, he said.
Several countries, including the United States and Japan have repeatedly warned that China has not been transparent about its intent behind the defense expansion.
However, Li dismissed the allegations saying, "China's limited military powers will be solely used for the purpose of safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Li further clarified that the increase was significant to ensure that living standards for its estimated 2.3 million service men and women rise along with the rest of society. (ANI)