China to increase military spending
Jarrett Martineau | March 3, 2008 at 08:32 pmby
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That's a pretty sizeable chunk of change to spend on salaries, oil, and armaments, which makes me wonder how much of this expenditure might be diverted through conflict-ridden and oil-rich African nations (Sudan anyone?) to serve China's international oil interests.
China says it plans to increase military spending by nearly 18% this year to 417bn yuan ($59bn; £30bn).
The figure was revealed ahead of China's annual parliamentary session, which begins on Wednesday.
But experts believe the actual amount allocated to the Chinese military is two to three times larger than the published figure.
Critics also complain that China is not open enough about what it is spending the money on.
Most of this year's increase would be spent on increasing salaries and accommodating higher oil prices, said Jiang Enzhu, a spokesman for the National People's Congress.
He said spending on armaments would rise moderately.
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