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China's Military Expenditure at Very Low Level in World: Premier
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Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday that China pursues a defensive national defense policy and its military expenditure is at a very low level in the world.

"China is at a very low both in aggregated terms or relative terms of the quantity of armed forces and military spending, compared with the developed countries and even some developing countries," the premier told reporters at a press conference after the conclusion of the parliament annual session.

China is a country with a territory of 9.6 million square kilometers and a population of 1.3 billion people. It also has 22, 000-km-long land boundary and 18,000-km-long marine boundary, he said.

After the opium war in the 1840s, the Chinese people had been subject to aggression and oppression by imperialist powers. The Chinese nation knows fully well the tremendous sufferings of being enslaved and subject to foreign aggression, said the premier, adding, "We are most sincere in our commitment to peaceful development."

"We have a defense policy that is defensive in nature. The limited arm forces that China has are completely serving the purpose for safeguarding the country's security, independence and sovereignty. On this matter, we are completely transparent."

On the recent anti-satellite test Chinese scientists conducted, Wen said, China targets or threatens no other country and breaches no international treaties.

"China advocates the peaceful use of outer space and opposes arms race in outer space," he said, adding that the position remains unchanged.

Wen also called on countries concerned to sign international conventions on the peaceful utilization of outer space as soon as possible.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)

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