China said it plans to raise its defense budget by 11.2 percent to 670 billion yuan (106.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012.
This year's draft defense budget is 67.6 billion yuan more than the defense expenditure of 2011, said Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of China's national legislature.
"The Chinese government follows the principle of coordinating defense development with economic development. It sets the country's defense spending according to the requirements of national defense and the level of economic development," Li Said
The former foreign minister said the growth of China's defense expenditure is "reasonable and appropriate."
"The Chinese government has maintained reasonable and appropriate growth in defense spending on the strength of rapid economic and social development and the steady increase of fiscal revenues," he said.
During the last three years since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China's gross domestic product (GDP) and national fiscal expenditure showed year-on-year growth of 14.5 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively, but the country's defense expenditure only grew by 13 percent, according to Li.