Defense spending to rise by 11.2 percent in 2012
BEIJING | China said Sunday that it would boost its defense spending by 11.2 percent in 2012, the latest in a nearly two-decade string of double-digit increases.
Although the planned figure is less than last year’s 12.7 percent increase, China’s military leaders have said they are unhappy with recent moves by the Obama administration to increase the U.S. military presence in the Asia-pacific region.
Only twice since the early 1990s has the increase been less than double digits.
National People’s Congress spokesman, Li Zhaoxing, said China’s defense spending would increase by 11.2 percent over actual spending last year to hit $106.4 billion in 2012.
China’s official defense spending is the largest in the world after the United States, but actual spending, according to foreign defense experts, may be 50 percent higher, as China excludes outlays for its nuclear missile force and other programs.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (second from right) confers Monday in Moscow with three of the rivals he defeated in the presidential election a day earlier: Mikhail Prokhorov (left), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (second from left) and Sergei Mironov.