China's limited defense spending poses no threat to any other country: spokesperson

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-04 13:39:54|Editor: Liangyu
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Zhang Yesui (C), spokesperson for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), speaks during a press conference on the agenda of the session and the work of the NPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 4, 2019. The second session of the 13th NPC will open in Beijing on March 5. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) -- China's limited defense spending, which is for safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, poses no threat to any other country, a spokesperson for the annual session of the country's national legislature said Monday.

"China will adhere to the path of peaceful development and adopt a defense policy that is defensive in nature," said Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress, at a press conference.

"Whether a country is a military threat to others or not is not determined by its increase in defense expenditure, but by the diplomatic and national defense policies it adopts," he noted.

China has maintained a single digit growth rate in its budgeted national defense spending since 2016, following five consecutive years of double digit increase.

Its budgeted growth rate stood at 7.6 percent in 2016, 7 percent in 2017, and 8.1 percent in 2018.

While the national defense spending in some major developed countries accounted for more than 2 percent of their GDP, the ratio was only about 1.3 percent for China in 2018, according to Zhang.

"China maintains a reasonable and appropriate growth rate in its defense expenditure to meet its demand in safeguarding national security and military reform with Chinese characteristics," he said.