China to increase defense spending by 11.6 percent in 2004 03-06-2004 10:15

China's expenditures for national defense will rise by 21.83 billion yuan, 11.6 percent more than last year, Finance Minister said Saturday in a budget report to lawmakers.

The increase is aimed to improve the defensive combat readiness of the armed forces under hi-tech conditions and to raise the salaries of army personnel and the pensions for ex-servicemen, the minister said at the annual session of the national legislature.

Editor:Zheng  Source:Xinhua News Agency

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