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China: Military buildup 'transparent'
Updated: 2006-03-16 20:02

China insisted Thursday it hasn't concealed details of its defense strategy, after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged greater openness from Beijing on its military buildup.

Rice, who was in Australia ahead of three-way talks over the weekend that include Japan, said China should "undertake to be transparent" about the 14.7 percent increase in its military budget for the year.

But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Beijing has adopted "appropriate and visible military transparency measures." He said China regularly publishes papers on its national defense and is open about its military expenses, while Chinese troops have increased exchanges with other countries.

"These have been in compliance with our development strategy and security commitment," Qin said at a regular news briefing. "What is more important is that our national defense strategy is totally transparent."

This year's defense spending accounts for about 7.4 percent of China's total budget, which the government says is about the same proportion as in recent years.

The spending boost brings expenditure up to 283.8 billion yuan (US$35.3 billion; euro28.6 billion), but analysts believe the true spending figure is several times higher if weapons purchases and other key items are included.

Recent purchases include submarines, jet fighters and other high-tech weapons.

Premier Wen Jiabao said this week that the Chinese military would never pose a threat to another country.

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