Defense anxieties unjustified

By Yang Yi
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, March 9, 2011
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 In the eye of the beholder  [By Jiao Haiyang/]

It has always stimulated the imagination of many foreign commentators when we disclose the national defense budget each year. China's national defense budget for 2011 is about US$91.5 billion, a 12.7 percent increase from the previous year. Some analysts think this rise in military spending will promote an arms race in Asia.

Growth, however, is justifiable, citing the need to cope with global security challenges, expansion of state interests, and the need to enhance military strength and capability.

The current international security environment is stable, although regional unrest has occurred, particularly in regions bordering China's territories. Local clashes have the risk to escalate. The military needs to build up its strength to defend itself and ensure regional peace and stability.

Meanwhile, unconventional security threats, such as the rampant Somali pirates, are growing. This has placed demand on Chinese troops for paramilitary operations. China has dispatched eight naval convoy fleets for the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters so far. These overseas escorting missions cost up to a dozen times more than domestic deployments. However, due to the current situation, these missions have become the norm.

Military resources have also been allocated to the recent evacuation of Chinese nationals in Libya, where military aircraft and fleets were dispatched by the government. More such missions are expected to be carried out in the future. Moreover, investment in military training and equipment will be enhanced due to new security threats and challenges.

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