Chinese military growing fast but concerns 'regional': IISS

8th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

China is building its military capability at a rapid pace despite the global financial crisis but it remains a "regional power with regional concerns", think tank IISS said in its annual report Tuesday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that the 7.5 percent growth in the Chinese defence budget in 2010 was greater than most countries and "continued to provoke concern".

However, it said China's primary focus was regional, pointing to the status of Taiwan and disputes in the East and South China Seas as Beijing's overriding concerns.

"By and large, China remains a regional power with regional concerns, as demonstrated in 2010 by a series of exercises, construction projects and equipment purchases," the IISS said in its "Military Balance 2011" study.

The report underlined that the world's military powers were watching China closely as it begins "tentatively to explore operations further afield".

Those concerns heightened on Friday when China announced a double-digit rise in defence spending in 2011.

Its defence budget will rise 12.7 percent in 2011 to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.5 billion).

The 7.5 percent rise last year broke with a multi-year trend of double-digit percentage increases in Chinese military spending.

© 2011 AFP

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