From Financial Times:
China’s defence spending is expected to reach Rmb283.8bn ($36.4bn) this year, up nearly 15 per cent from last year, according to rarely released government data that are likely to heighten concerns over Beijing’s military build-up.
The boost in funds, which many experts argue greatly underestimates actual military expenditures, is aimed at modernising the 2.3m-strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a nimbler, more technologically-advanced entity, said a white paper released by the government yesterday.
President Hu Jintao, who also leads the Central Military Commission, this week said there was particular emphasis on developing a powerful navy that can respond “at any time” to safeguard national sovereignty.[Full Text]