China issued a white paper on national defense, aiming to enhance its military's transparency and boost the world's trust in its commitment to peaceful development, the Xinhua reported on Thursday.
The white paper, titled 'China's National Defense in 2010,' gives an overall picture of the country's national defense ranging from the security environment and national defense policy to defense expenditure and arms control, it said.
The document, the seventh of its kind the Chinese government has issued since 1998, says China will never seek hegemony, nor will it adopt the approach of military expansion now or in the future, no matter how its economy develops, the report added.
China's defense expenditure grew by 17.5 percent in 2008 and 18.5 percent in 2009. The defense budget for 2010 is 532.115 billion yuan (81.2 billion U.S. dollars), up 7.5 percent from 2009.
The growth rate of defense expenditure has decreased, says the white paper.
China's defense expenditure mainly comprises expenses for personnel, training and maintenance, and equipment, with each accounting for roughly one third of the total.
Making public the share of equipment spending in defense expenditure, the white paper serves to allay concerns that China's increased defense expenditure may trigger a regional arms race, observers said.
The share of China's annual defense expenditure in the state financial expenditure has declined from 8.66 percent in 1998 to 6.49 percent in 2009, according to the white paper.