By 2015, China will DOUBLE its military budget
Reports claim that the country's defence spending is set to double by 2015
China would double its military spending to USD 238.2 billion (approximately Rs 12,37,600 cr) by 2015, surpassing the combined defence budgets of India, Japan and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific, a global research group has claimed, prompting defence scholars in Beijing to dismiss the report as an attempt to play up the country's military threat.
China's military spending will reach Rs 12,37,600 cr in 2015 compared with 119.8 billion (approximately Rs 6,18,800 cr) in 2011, 'IHS Jane's Defence and Security Intelligence and Analysis' said.
Military scholars Beijing, however, disputed the report on China's defence budget growth, saying it was aimed at playing up China's military threat.
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Image: Chinese air force soldiers arm a plane during an exercise at a military base in Jinan
'Report sensational, lacks rational and factual basis'
According to an official announcement in Beijing last March, China's defence budget for 2011 was pegged around 601 billion yuan (approximately Rs 4,73,200 cr), an increase of 12.7 per cent from that of 2010.
China's defence budget was increased by 7.5 per cent in 2010 from that of 2009.
The official figure by China was questioned by the international defence analysts who put it far higher.
Professor Ma Gang with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) National Defence University said the IHS Jane's report was sensational and lacked a rational and factual basis.
"The report's prediction that China's military budget will gain an annual increase of 18.75 per cent in the upcoming five years was purely speculative," Ma was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
"The facts have proved that China's military budget increase has gone up and down over the past years and will not always keep growing fast," Ma said.
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Image: A soldier practices shooting during a training session at a military base in north China
Photographs: Ge Gong/Reuters
'China's military hardware 20 yrs behind other military powers'
The Chinese government has repeated that its military budget increase over the past decade made up for restrained military construction in the 1980s.
According to China's official record, the country's military budget increase ratios in the past six years were 14.7 per cent, 17.8 per cent, 17.5 per cent, 18.5 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 12.7 per cent.
However, from 1979 to 1989, China's military spending had experienced an average annual decrease of 5.83 per cent, the news agency report said.
Chen Bingde, the PLA's chief of the general staff, has claimed that China's military hardware lagged 20 years behind than that of the US and other military powers.
China's military budget for 2011 accounted only 1.5 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, in comparison with US' 4.8 per cent and the UK's 2.7 per cent, the report said.
Moreover, the proportion of China's military budget in the country's total fiscal budget had dropped from 8.66 per cent in 1998 to 6.94 per cent in 2009, it said.
Image: A Chinese military drill in Hefei, Anhui province