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China to enhance military capacity, Premier Wen says, as defense spending to rise

 Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, bottom, delivers a speech at the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the ...

China Politics

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, bottom, delivers a speech at the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the ...

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday at the opening of the National People’s Congress (NPC) that China must enhance the technology and ability of its military, a day after the government announced it will increase military spending in 2012. Delivering a report on the work of the government, Wen said it aimed to “enhance our capacity for making innovations in defense technology and in weapons,” according to China’s state media Xinhua. “We will vigorously carry out military training under information-age conditions,” he told the 3,000 delegates gathered in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for the annual 10-day session of the legislature. Defense Spending China plans to increase its defense spending, the second highest in the world after the US, 11.2 percent this year. Military spending is set to rise this year to about 670 billion yuan ($106.4 billion), Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for China’s National People’s Congress, said Sunday. China North Optical-Electrical Technology Co., the maker of military control systems and sensors, rose as much as 9.7 percent in Shanghai trading, the biggest intraday gain in more than a month. China Dongfanghong Spacesat Co., which builds satellites, advanced as much as 3.9 percent. Defense spending has more than doubled since 2006, tracking a rise in nominal gross domestic product from 20.9 trillion yuan to 47.2 trillion yuan in that time. The growing defense budget has stoked concerns among China’s neighbors and the US, which announced last year a strategic shift toward Asia including deploying forces to a base in Australia. “The Chinese government has maintained reasonable and appropriate growth of defense spending on the strength of rapid economic and social development and the steady increase of fiscal revenues,” Li said. US analysts say actual Chinese defense spending is much higher than the amount announced. Territorial Disputes The growing defense budget has stoked concerns among China’s neighbors. China’s territorial disputes with countries including Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam have grown rockier in recent years. China lays claim to essentially all of the South China Sea, where its professed ownership of the Spratly archipelago overlaps with claims by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. China, Taiwan and Japan also have a long-standing dispute over an uninhabited but strategically coveted island chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, which lies between Japan and Taiwan in the East China Sea.


Updated : 2021-07-31 16:01 GMT+08:00