Philippines stop China from double digit Military Spending intended for War in the Disputed Seas

Wen urged China to enhance ability to take victory in 'local wars': South China Sea

Premier Wen Jiabao urge China to enhance the ability of its military to win "local wars, (South China Sea)"  said, as Beijing grows increasingly assertive about its territorial claims in Asia.

Beijing lays claim to large swathes of the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea) which are also claimed by its smaller neighbors, and must also secure supply routes and new sources of raw materials to fuel its booming economy.

Wen's made his comments at the opening of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, a day after the government announced military spending would top US$100 billion in 2012 — an 11.2-percent increase on last year.

"We will enhance the armed forces' capacity to accomplish a wide range of military tasks, the most important of which is to win local wars under information age conditions," Wen said in his "state of the nation" speech.

China's territorial disputes with countries including Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have grown rockier in recent years and its neighbors have accused it of behaving aggressively.

The Asian giant already has the world's largest armed forces and its defense budget has seen double-digit increases every year for much of the last decade, rattling the United States, which is forging ahead with plans to expand its own military power in Asia.

Analysts say actual defense spending is probably double the published figure, with funding for modernizing the country's military not included in the budget.

China has made advances in satellite technology and cyber warfare in recent years and invested in advanced weaponry including its first aircraft carrier, a 300-meter-long (990-foot) former Soviet naval vessel that had its first sea trial in August.

But it remains technologically far behind the United States. Wen said Beijing aimed to "enhance our capacity for making innovations in defense-related science and technology and in weapons and equipment development."

"We will vigorously carry out military training under information-age conditions," he told the 3,000 delegates gathered in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Philippines asks China to cut military spending for WAR in the disputed Sea

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario urged the Chinese government yesterday not to spend a huge part of its budget for military expansion that could lead to further intrusions into the disputed Spratly Islands of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea to the government). He said Beijing should instead use its vast financial resources for peaceful purposes.

The Philippine government is impressed with the fast economic growth of China that is likewise benefiting the Philippine economy, he said.

"With this growth, China is also increasing its defense spending, which is its sovereign right to do so," del Rosario said.

But he also said the Philippines was "relying on China to fully utilize its vast global influence in the most responsible way, especially in terms of promoting peace, prosperity and stability in the region."

Beijing announced over the weekend that it would increase its defense budget by 11.2 percent after the US also bared plans to increase budget allocations for military spending by 2013 as part of its comprehensive plans to increase its military presence in the Southeast Asia amid increasing tensions in the disputed islands in the region.

Li Zhaoxing, spokesman of the National People's Congress, said Beijing would increase its military spending to 670-billion yuan ($106.4 billion) in 2012 which is 68-billion yuan more than its 2011 spending.

The US defense budget for the 2013 fiscal year is $613.9 billion, including $525.4 billion in base spending.

The Philippines has been protesting increasing military presence and activities in the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea) and proposed the adoption of a Zone of Peace and Freedom before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN foreign ministers are now drafting a legally binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to ease tensions in the disputed Spratly Islands believed to be sitting on rich natural gas, oil and marine resources.

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