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China Cuts Military by 200,000 Troops


China has cut the size of its military by 200,000 soldiers to make it a leaner, more high-tech fighting force.

The People's Liberation Army newspaper said Monday the military had been reduced to 2.3 million troops as part of a three-year modernization program that ended last year.

The program involved shutting down Chinese military farms and schools not involved in combat, and removing layers of military bureaucracy.

China has been trimming the size of its military since the mid-1980s, when it had about 4.2 million soldiers. However, Beijing continued a sizable increase in military spending last year. Beijing has spent heavily on high-tech weapons in recent years to back up threats against Taiwan.

Japan, South Korea and the United States have repeatedly expressed about China's military build-up, and have accused Beijing of underreporting its defense spending.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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