De­fense spend­ing to rise by 11.2 per­cent in 2012

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

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.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TO­GRAPHS

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.

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