China’s military budget for 2002 will be Yn166bn, 17.6 per cent higher than last year’s total, Reuters reported. Giving the figure in his budget speech to the National People’s Congress, Premier Zhu Rongji said that the funds would be used to improve the army’s defence capabilities and raise the salaries of army personnel.
Analysts quoted by the agency said the increased budget was part of a five-year plan that began in 2001 focused on recruiting graduates with the skills for high-tech warfare. The increase also compensates the army for revenues lost by being ordered to give up its commercial activities in 1998.
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