Chinese Premier Stresses Absolute Party Leadership of Military

Posted March 5th, 2012 at 8:25 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says Beijing will continue to upgrade its military to perform a broader range of military tasks, with the Communist Party in firm control of efforts to make the armed forces more revolutionary and modern.

Mr. Wen spoke Monday in Beijing, in the opening address to the Communist Party's annual National People's Congress.

“We will make the armed forces more revolutionary, modern and standardized in all respects so they can comprehensively accomplish their historic mission at the new stage in the century. We will enhance the armed forces' capability to accomplish a wide range of military tasks, the most important of which is to win local wars under information-age conditions.”

He said the military's chief tasks will also continue to include the fight against militancy and efforts to maintain internal stability, along with mandates to provide disaster relief and emergency response.

On Sunday, authorities said China's defense budget — the second largest in the world, after the United States — will rise 11.2 percent in 2012 — to about $106 billion.

Parliamentary spokesman Li Zhaoxing, noting China's large territorial responsibilities and its 1.3 billion population, said the country's defense spending is relatively low “compared with other major countries.”