China is increasing military spending at breakneck speed. Not to worry though, this is for “defensive” purposes only.
Is China preparing for an invasion of Thibetan monks led by the the Dhalai Lama?
Are Taiwanese frogmen planning to attack Shanghai?
Is the building military alliance with Russia, a mere ruse? Does China fear that its new ally will seek revenge for Jenghis Khan’s excursions?
What is all this “defensive” spending really for?
China’s defense budget for 2007 is expected to hit 350.92 billion yuan (44.94 billion U.S. dollars), 17.8 percent higher than that last year, a spokesman for China’s top legislature’s annual session said Sunday.
The figure marks an increase of 52.99 billion yuan (6.79 billion dollars) over that last year.
This year’s defense budget accounts for 7.5 percent of the nation’s budgeted fiscal expenditure, compared with 7.7 percent in 2004, 7.3 percent in 2005 and 7.4 percent in 2006, said Jiang Enzhu, spokesman for the Fifth Session of the Tenth National People’s Congress, the top legislature of the country.
The State Council, or the cabinet, is to submit the budget for approval at the annual session of the legislature, which is scheduled to open here Monday.
Jiang said the defense budget is raised to further increase the salaries and allowances for servicemen and army retirees, so as to ensure their income is lifted together with economic and social development.
More money will be spent to improve the army’s drilling and living conditions, he said.
The increased part will also be used to upgrade military equipment and improve the troops’ capability of fighting a defensive war based on information technologies, he added.
The compensatory rise is designed to reinforce the originally weak basis of military defense, said Liao Xilong, director of the General Logistics Department of the People’s Liberation Army.
“It’s a moderate increase in step with China’s economic development,” said Liao, also a member of the Central Military Commission.