China defense budget to increase 12.2% in 2014

Updated: 2014-03-05 09:18


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BEIJING - China plans to raise its defense budget by 12.2 percent to 808.2 billion yuan (about $132 billion) in 2014, according to a budget report to be reviewed by the national legislature on Wednesday.

In 2013, the country spent 720.197 billion yuan on national defense, a 10.7-percent increase from the previous year.

Double-digit growth in China's defense budget in recent years has caused some concerns from western countries. But experts said China's military expenditure is moderate and in line with the country's economic conditions.

Yin Zhuo, director of the Expert Consultation Committee of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, said China's military spending is still far from the level it needs to be as the country faces increasingly severe security challenges.

Although the rise in the defense budget in the past three years has surpassed GDP growth, the spending's share in GDP, which came in at 1.4 percent, is still far below the world average of 3 percent, Yin said, citing statistics.

A report released by London's International Institute for Strategic Studies showed the United States remained the world's biggest defense spender in 2013, with a budget of $600.4 billion in 2013.