China´s defense spending still fairly low: military official 03-07-2004 16:51

China's defense spending, slated to rise 11.6 percent this year, is proportionately lower than that of many nations and the principle of building the army through frugality should be adhered to, the military's top budget official said in Beijing Saturday.

The budgeted military spending of 21.83 billion yuan (about 2.6 billion US dollars), submitted to the national legislature on Saturday, accounts for only around 1.7 percent of China's total GDP volume. Compared with the world's average level of 3 percent, China's defense expenditure is still at a fairly low level, said Ding Jiye, head of finances for the People's liberation Army's General Logistics Department, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

China's military expenditure only makes up 8 percent of the country's total financial expenditure, still lower than the world's average level of 15 percent.

The per capita military expenditure of the United States is nearly 300,000 US dollars, and the figures in Britain and Japan are nearly 200,000 US dollars, compared with China's 10,000 US dollars.

"In general, China's defense expenditure is still at a fairly low level, compared with the major countries of the world. The current defense expenditure hardly meets the needs of furthering military reform and building a technically advanced army," Ding said.

He noted that the army has scored some achievements in the reforms in its budget system, procurement system and social security system, and the principle of building an army through hard work and frugality should be further adhered to.

Editor:Zheng  Source:Xinhua News Agency

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