China ratchets up military spending

March 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

BEIJING, March 4 (UPI) -- China's communist government has hiked its 2012 military spending by 11 percent to $106 billion, state documents show.

The budget allocation marks the first time China has surpassed $100 billion for its military budget and is raising concern among its Asian neighbors, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Among them are Japan, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, the Post said.

Legislative spokesman Li Zhaoxing told reporters there shouldn't be concerned about the spending hike, as "China is committed to the path of peaceful development."

In contrast, Beijing leaders have made numerous statements in the last year about military acquisitions, particularly the Chinese-designed J-20 stealth fighter jet. Last year, China also purchased and refurbished its first aircraft carrier that was built in the Soviet-era Ukraine.

Citing unspecified intelligence analysts, the Post said by 2015, China's military spending will become larger on a per-capita basis than all 12 of its Asian neighbors

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