Beijing is expected to raise military spending by 12.6% this year to US$29.5bn, prompting concerns in Washington that China's military ambitions could jeopardize the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and threaten US forces in Asia. China's finance minister is expected to propose the new budget at the NPC annual meeting tomorrow, according to AFP. The mainland's military budget grew in the double-digits during most of the past 15 years, rising by more than 17% in 2001 and 2002, then moderating to 9.6% growth YoY in 2003 before quickening again to 11.6% last year.
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