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China's Military Budget Rises Nearly 15 Percent


China's military budget for this year will rise almost 15 percent to more than $35 billion.

A spokesman for the National People's Congress made the announcement Saturday, one day before China's parliament starts its annual session.

He said the increase will be spent mainly on salaries and fuel, and underlined that China is committed to a path of peaceful development.

China has had double-digit increases in military spending nearly every year since the early 1990s, causing unease among its neighbors.

Much of the country's weapons arsenal is deployed against Taiwan, the island Beijing regards as a renegade province.

Tensions rose this past week after Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian scrapped a council for eventual unification with mainland China.

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

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