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China to increase military expenses, fears containment
Phayul[Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:24]
This picture taken secretly in last week of August 2008,shows armed security forces guarding the Jhokhang temple in Tibet's capital Lhasa, phayul photo by Col Thade (name changed for safety reasons)
This picture taken secretly in last week of August 2008,shows armed security forces guarding the Jhokhang temple in Tibet's capital Lhasa, phayul photo by Col Thade (name changed for safety reasons)
Dharamsala, Jan. 20 - China today justified its drive to gear up military might saying it fears containment abroad and separatist groups within the country, reported Reuters.

A White Paper on defence policy said China will increase its budget for the People's Liberation Army to push it into a high-tech era.

"China is faced with the superiority of developed countries economically, scientifically and technologically, as well as militarily," the 95-page white paper released today said.

The document denounced elements seeking independence for Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, which "pose threats to China's unity and security".

"It also faces strategic manoeuvres and containment from the outside while having to face disruption and sabotage by separatist and hostile forces from the inside.”

Countries including the United States and Japan have accused China of lack of transparency in its expenditures on arms and military modernization. The communist government, however, says its defence budget is purely to defend itself and is quite open.

China said the US arms sales to Taiwan is causing serious harm to the Sino- US relations as well as peace and stability across the strait.

China recently saw improvement in its relation with Taiwan since Pro-China Kuomintang government led by President Ma Ying Jeou came to power.

China and Taiwan had "entered a period of peaceful development," the Chinese Ministry of Defence chief spokesman, Hu Changming, said at the release of the document.

Taiwanese media said on Monday that the island was considering cutting its troop strength by as much as a third as ties improve. Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence said on Tuesday the "case is still being studied".

Beijing's planned allocation for the People's Liberation Army in 2008 was 417.769 billion yuan ($61.09 billion), up 17.6 percent in 2007. But international experts estimate true defence spending could be as much as triple the stated figure.
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