Chinese General Zhao Keming branded U.S. talk of a Chinese military threat "totally groundless," in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn during the recent meeting of the National People's Congress.
General Zhao Keming, a deputy to the National People's Congress, says talk of a "China threat" is groundless. [Photo: China.org.cn / Zhang Ming'ai]
"They are hyping the 'China military threat' as a way to contain China and sow discord between China and its neighbors," said General Zhao, who is also a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC).
"China's ratio of military spending to gross domestic product (GDP) is lower than that of many developing countries, let alone western countries. And China's per capita defense spending is even lower," Zhao said.
"The U.S. defense budget is 700 billion U.S. dollars and ours is only about 600 billion yuan (91.5 billion U.S. dollars)," said Zhao. "U.S. defense budget was 10 or 20 times higher than China for many years in the past."
NPC spokesman Li Zhaoxing said earlier at a press conference that China plans to raise its defense budget by 12.7 percent to 601 billion yuan in 2011, compared with an increase of 7.5 percent the previous year.