China: Defense boost to meet ‘complex security challenges’

BEIJING (AP) — China says increases in its defense budget have been “appropriate and reasonable” and are aimed at meeting the complex security challenges and for China to fulfill its responsibilities as a major country. A new budget is set to be announced on the opening day of the rubber-stamp legislature’s annual session on Sunday. At a news conference Saturday, congress spokesperson Wang Chao gave no indication of whether the rate of increase would be above or below last year’s 7.1%. But he said the defense budget has remained stable as a share of GDP, and that China’s military modernization “will not be a threat to any country.” China has increased its defense budget annually for more than two decades.