Let the Games Begin in China--Not the Olympic, the Arms Race
March 5, 2008
Chinese Military Spending Up Sharply
By DAVID LAGUE
BEIJING — China announced a further sharp increase in military spending on Tuesday, a day after the United States renewed its warning that a lack of openness surrounding the rapid buildup of the Chinese armed forces posed a threat to stability in Asia.
China’s military budget for 2008 will increase by 17.6 percent to 417.77 billion yuan, or about $58.8 billion, Jiang Enzhu, spokesman for the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, told a news conference.
This follows a 17.8 percent increase in 2007.
Before the annual legislative session, which begins Wednesday, Mr. Jiang also said the situation in the Taiwan Strait was “grim and complex” and called on the Taiwanese president, Chen Shui-bian, to halt what Beijing described as unacceptable moves toward independence. China considers the island of Taiwan a breakaway province.
China has increased annual defense outlays by double-digit percentages most years in the pas…