China releases the 5th White Paper on national defense
Source: CCTV.com | 12-29-2006 13:26
China has released its fifth white paper on national defense since 1998. The new document provides an overall defense situation in 2006 and the military's modernization drive over the last two years.
In 2006 the upgrading of a modern army for self-defense continued to be the priority for the Chinese military.
Defense authorities set the military's development as subject to the country's overall growth.
The 2006 defense budget reached 35 billion US dollars a 14% increase since the previous year.
However, comparing this figure to the overall finance expenditure, the defense budget is decreasing in proportion.
And in comparison with other major countries, China's defense budget doesn't appear appalling.
The white paper says the budget is equally distributed into three areas, for soldiers' life expenditure, training, and equipment.
To strengthen the military's defensive capability, China has been streamlining its army and upgrading military equipment.
In 2005, the PLA reduced its number to 2.3 million, by disarming 200,000 soldiers. This means China has reduced 1.7 million military staff since mid 1980s.