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 China says it will boost its defence budget in 2011

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PostSubject: China says it will boost its defence budget in 2011   Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:38 pm

China says it will boost its defence budget in 2011
Chinese soldier China's military power is keeping pace with its growing economic dominance
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* China seeks to ease US concerns
* China military modernisation gathers pace

China will raise its defence budget by 12.7% in 2011, a government spokesman has said.

Spending will increase to 601.1bn yuan ($91.5bn; £56.2bn) up from 532.1bn yuan last year.

The announcement comes a day ahead of the annual National People's Congress, at which the Communist Party will outline its five-year plan.

China has been building up its military, causing anxiety to a number of countries in the region.

"China's modernisation of its military and increased activity is, along with insufficient transparency, a matter of concern," Yuki Edna, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said on Thursday.

Relations have been strained between China and Japan over disputed isles in the South China Sea, where there are large potential reserves of oil and gas.

China's defence budget was increased by 7.5% in 2010, after double-digit jumps in recent years.

"There's no two ways about the fact that China's military is getting much more powerful," said Duncan Innes-Kerr of the Economist Intelligence Unit in Beijing.

"Its ability going forward to overwhelm opponents is clearly increasing," he added.

However, analysts say there is a low chance of a military conflict over disputed territories in the region.

"Territorial claims are a secondary concern for China compared to domestic economic growth and stability," said Mr Innes-Kerr.

Other countries in the region are also beefing up their military strength.

Last week, India announced an increase of 11.6% in annual defence spending, an increase from 4% last yearcar hire
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