China said on Wednesday it would increase the defense budget by 12.2% this year to US$131.57 billion (RMB808.23 billion), its biggest rise in military spending in three years, Reuters reported. The 2014 military budget, the first for President Xi Jinping, reflects China’s interest in developing more high-tech weapons and beefing up coastal and air defenses. The spending jump is the biggest since a rise of 12.7% in 2011, signaling that the government is not about to back away from its growing assertiveness in Asia, especially in disputed waters.
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