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US Pacific Fleet Commander Says China's Military Budget Lacks Transparency

China insists its military spending is transparent and that it does not pose a threat, but is needed to update old equipment and defend its legitimate interests.

Reuters

Updated:March 6, 2018, 12:48 PM IST
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US Pacific Fleet Commander Says China's Military Budget Lacks Transparency
Representative image/Reuters
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Tokyo: The commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet said on Tuesday that China's military budget had a troubling lack of transparency, a day after Beijing announced the biggest hike in military spending in three years.
China on Monday unveiled an 8.1 percent rise in defence spending for 2018, fuelling an ambitious military modernisation programme and making its neighbours, particularly Japan and self-ruled Taiwan, nervous.

"These investments and commitment need to be taken with full transparency," Admiral Scott Swift said during a press roundtable in Tokyo.

China's "intent is not clearly understood", he said.

China insists its military spending is transparent and that it does not pose a threat, but is needed to update old equipment and defend its legitimate interests.

China's state media on Monday said the 2018 defence budget was proportionate and low. Chinese defence spending is only officially about one-quarter of the military spending of the United States.

But many foreign analysts and diplomats say China under-reports the figure.
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