June 07, 2014 08:14
China has rejected a report by the U.S. Defense Department that suggested Beijing significantly underestimated the amount it spent on defense last year.
The annual Pentagon report to Congress Thursday said Chinese military spending was about $145 billion in 2013. That figure is about 20 percent higher than the $119.5 billion China said it spent.
The Defense Department document also noted Beijing is expanding its ability to project power overseas. It cited advances in China's navy and air force, as well as in missile technology, drone technology and cyber warfare.
China's Defense Ministry on Friday said it "resolutely opposes" the report, saying it "makes pointless accusations, exaggerates the 'Chinese military threat' and is a completely wrong course of action."
U.S. officials have long suspected China is not telling the truth about its military spending, both because of a lack of transparency and other factors such as corruption.
Washington and its allies accuse China of using its rising military strength to bully neighbors in the East and South China Seas with which Beijing has territorial disputes.
Though China has steadily increased its defense spending, Beijing still only spends a fraction on its military compared to the United States. Last year, Washington spent about $600 billion on defense.
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