CAIRO, March 7 -- China unveiled on Thursday a 10.1-percent rise in its national defense budget in 2015, but Egyptian political and military experts say that the increase does not pose any threat to other countries.
"I do not think that the increase of China's military spending is provocative nor does it pose a threat to others. It only aims to defend the Chinese borders, to maintain the Chinese development and to combat terrorism that has prevailed worldwide," Mohamed Abdel-Wahhab al-Saket, former Arab Leagueambassador to China, told Xinhua.
Saket added that China's peaceful development policy requires military protection, especially amid the growing tensions and terrorist activities in many parts of the world, noting that China is among the big countries with the lowest annual military budget increase in the world.
The announcement of the Chinese new military budget came right ahead of the Third Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), confirming what NPC spokeswoman Fu Ying told reporters a day earlier.
"It is just a 10-percent growth in China's military budget, which is a normal and reasonable increase compared with the American, the European and the NATO military spending, etc," said the ex-diplomat, also member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.
Saket stressed that China's security is very important for the security of its neighboring states, pointing out that there are development areas between China and its neighbors, including Russia.
"China is aware that it cannot achieve development without a peaceful policy with its neighbors, and that is why over the past years China signed joint conventions and joined common organizations with its bordering countries," the diplomatic expert said.
Experts also believe that China's security is vital for the world security as the Chinese people represent about a quarter of the world population, its economy is the second largest in the world, and it has massive trade with other countries.
China's 2014 defense budget rose by 12.2 percent to reach 808.2 billion yuan (about 131 billion U.S. dollars), riding on a multi-year run of double-digit increases. This year's 10.1-percent military budget growth rate is the lowest in the past five years.
China shares land and sea borders with over 20 other countries including Russia, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, South Koreaand Japan, therefore many experts think that China has the right to maintain security alongside its borders, especially amid the recently rising security threats around the world.
"The increase of China's military spending comes within the context of peaceful development and to maintain the country's security, posing no threat to other states," said Saeed al-Lawindi, political expert and researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
He said that the United Statesis generally concerned with China's growing influence around the word, adding "it makes Uncle Sam tremble in fact."
"China is a strong and peaceful country. We never heard about a Chinese invasion or occupation," Lawindi told Xinhua, stressing that the U.S. concern is about China's growing popularity among the Third World countries as it looks only for peaceful development and helps African and Asian countries in some way or another.
He argued that the United States sees China as a powerful world power due to its vast investments in Africa and its growing role in the international policy, hoping that China will soon play a bigger role in the world affairs.
For his part, strategic and security expert Talaat Musallam, an Egyptian retired military general, said that the 10.1-percent annual increase of China's military spending is not little money, yet it can by no means be compared to the U.S. military budget.
"The defense budget of the United States equals the total defense budgets of its following 10 states in terms of military spending. So, when China increases its annual military spending by 10 percent, it is still cannot be compared or even be close to the U.S. defense budget," the expert told Xinhua.
Musallam wondered why the United States complains of China's military budget growth as a threat while it has military bases in China's neighbors Japan and South Korea.
Besides its outcry over Chinese military budget, a report released on Monday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission claimed that China's development of space technologies aims at blocking U.S. military communications and destroying its ability to win conflicts.
Musallam ruled out the possibility that China's defense budget growth might cause a threat to other states, noting that China's general policy is characterized by peacefulness.
"I believe the Chinese policy in general is inclined to peacefulness, as I don't remember a case when China made an act of aggression against a neighboring or non-neighboring state," said the expert.
Musallam explained that the Chinese move is a rightful precaution procedure for self-defense and that the use of military force outside a country's borders is only conditioned with either self-defense or international community cooperation against the aggression of one of its members.