Don’t have any hidden military expenditures: China

China has rejected reports on its military spending being higher than cited earlier.

Updated: Jul 10, 2010, 13:25 PM IST

Beijing: China has rejected Japanese media reports on its military spending being 1.5 times higher than the country`s 2010 defense budget cited in March.

According to the China Daily, Japanese media, including Kyodo News and Japan Today reported on Thursday that China`s military spending is 788 billion Yuan (116.4 billion dollars) in 2010, about 1.5 times higher than the country`s March 2010 defense budget figures.

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense, however, said that the report is "groundless".

"China`s defense budget and spending is highly restricted and controlled, and there are no ``so called`` hidden military expenditures as implied in the Japanese media," a Ministry of National Defense official said.

Earlier, citing unnamed sources, Japanese reports had said that China`s military expenditures are expected to double to 1.41 trillion Yuan (208 billion dollars) in 2020 and triple to 2.30 trillion yuan (339.4 billion dollars) in 2030, bolstering the assertion that the country`s military expansion is likely to continue.

The reports forecast that spending will further increase to about five trillion Yuan (USD 737.9 billion) in 2050.

The forecast is based on the assumption that China`s gross domestic product will grow at six percent a year, on average, from 2010 to 2020, five percent from 2021 to 2030 and around four percent from 2031 to 2050.

“China`s GDP is expected to grow more than 9 percent in 2010, higher than previous forecasts, so military spending this year may also increase,” the report said.

The report, further, stated that China is allocating a growing amount of military expenditure to boost its navy and air force, including the manufacture of aircraft carriers in an effort to gain a leading military position in Asia.

This is not the first time that overseas media has played up the issue of China`s military spending in recent years. Manjor countries have claimed that China`s military spending has risen by more than 10 percent every year, but still fell short.

Senior Chinese military officials say defense expenditure of China was mainly used to improve military life and to ensure military research, as well as weapons procurement.