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The advisory panel report also recommended that the U.S. increase sales of advanced conventional forces to allies in Asia and improve counterintelligence efforts.
Larry M. Wortzel, chairman of the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, said he has not seen the report but that blocking Taiwan independence and gaining control of the island “is one of the highest priorities set for the People’s Liberation Army by the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee and the Central Military Commission.” “If China accomplishes this, its military can concentrate on missions to expand China’s presence, influence, and even control, in wider areas of the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
Mr. Wang, the Chinese Embassy spokesman, said China’s budget for 2007 was $45 billion, or 1.4 percent of gross domestic product. He said this year’s defense budget is $57.2 billion, an increase of 17.6 percent.
The United States spends about 4 percent of GDP on defense, according to the CIA World Factbook.
However, the Pentagon’s latest annual report on China’s military stated that China’s military spending figures do not include spending on China’s space program, strategic forces, foreign acquisitions, military-related research and development and paramilitary forces.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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