China is defending its booming military spending, saying its vast investments in the armed forces have contributed to global peace and stability.

Chinese defence spending has grown substantially each year for more than two decades, and last year rose 11.2 per cent to 670.2 billion yuan ($106.4 billion), an increase of about 67 billion yuan.

Only the United States spends more on defence.

Fu said China maintained a strictly defensive military posture and cited U.N. peacekeeping missions and anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden as examples of Beijing’s contribution to world peace and stability.

“As such a big country, China’s inability to ensure its own security would not be good news for the world,” Fu said. “Our strengthening of our defence is to defend ourselves, to defend security and peace, and not to threaten other countries.”

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