China's announced plans to increase its military budget by nearly 18 percent accounts for only part of its actual military spending.Beijing's annual double-digit increases in declared military spending but also the programs that it sees China pursuing.There's a wide range of activities underway.China announced on Tuesday a 17.6 percent increase in defense spending to about 57.2 billion dollars in 2008, which followed a similar increase last year. Chinese officials said it was a moderate increase from a low base.
The Pentagon estimates China's military spending in 2007 was between 97 and 139 billion dollars, well in excess of Beijing's official budgeted figure of 45 billion dollars.
In an annual report to Congress released Monday, the Pentagon said China was fielding and developing an array of modern weapons and military capabilities that were altering regional military balances and have global implications.It raised concerns about a Chinese anti-satellite test in January 2007, and cyberwarfare capabilities.
The report said China has fielded new intercontinental ballistic missiles, acquired cruise and ballistic missiles capable of striking US aircraft carriers from long distances, and continued a steady buildup of short-range missiles opposite Taiwan.
China's foreign ministry attacked the report as a "serious distortion of facts" that "will do no good to our bilateral relations."
there was a significant difference between the Chinese anti-satellite test and the Pentagon's shoot down of a defunct spy satellite last month in that the United States notified the world ahead of time of its plans.
"After all, the United States, as we all recall, back in the mid-80s, did some experiments with ASATs, and essentially walked away from it.