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Rumsfeld's remarks on China's military expenditure groundless
Updated: 2005-06-07 22:00

China on Tuesday refuted US defense secretary's remark on its increased military expenditure, saying the words are groundless.

"The remarks that China's military expenditure has grown to be the largest in Asia and the third largest of the world is rootless, " said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at a regular press conference in response to a reporter's question.

According to the question, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,while speaking last Saturday at the fourth Asia Security Conference, also known as Shangri-la Dialogue, said he could not understand why China increased its military expenditure with no threats from other countries.

Liu said in recent years, along with its economic development, China slightly increased its national defense expenditure. The increased part was mainly used to improve the living condition of the officers and soldiers. "China has neither intention nor capability to develop its armament."

In fact, last year the US military spending was 455.9 billion US dollars, 17.8 times of China which was 211.7 billion yuan (25.6 billion US dollars). The US per capita military spending is even 17.8 times of that of China, the spokesman said.

"China is a peace-loving developing country, and pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and a defending national defense policy," Liu said. It clings to a peaceful development road and is also an important strength in maintaining Asian- Pacific and world peace and stability, he said.

"In order to reply to complicated international situation and safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, it is reasonable for China to update its armament," Liu said.

"Any words or deeds that create and exaggerate China's militarythreat will do harm to regional peace and stability," he added.

He expressed the hope that the United States will respect truthand do more that conducive to the healthy development of Sino-US ties and regional peace and stability.

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