World Bulletin/News Desk
China unveiled another double-digit rise in military expenditure on Tuesday, but for a third year in a row the defence budget will be exceeded by spending on domestic security, highlighting Beijing's concern about internal threats.
Spending on the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will rise 10.7 percent to 740.6 billion yuan ($119 billion), while the domestic security budget will go up at a slightly slower pace, by 8.7 percent, to 769.1 billion yuan, according to the budget released at the opening of parliament's annual meeting.
The numbers underscore the ruling Communist Party's vigilance not only about territorial disputes with Japan and Southeast Asia and the U.S. "pivot" back to the region, but also about popular unrest over corruption, pollution and abuse of power, despite robust economic growth and rising incomes.
The number of "mass incidents" of unrest recorded by the Chinese government grew from 8,700 in 1993 to about 90,000 in 2010, according to several government-backed studies. Some estimates are higher, and the government has not released official data for recent years.
In his "state of the nation" address to the largely stamp legislature, Premier Wen Jiabao listed maintaining social harmony and stability as one of the government's priorities for this year.
"We should improve the mechanism for assessing potential risks major policy decisions may pose for social stability ... The purpose of this work is to preserve law and order and promote social harmony and stability."
CHINA'S MILITARY AMBITIONS
Still, defence spending is contained at about 5.4 percent of total expenditure, up from 5.3 percent last year, and remains at about one-fifth of the Pentagon's outlays. But even with its worries about domestic problems, China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage.
Wen said the government "should accelerate the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces ... (and) should resolutely uphold China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and ensure its peaceful development".
China has advertised its long-term military ambitions with shows of new hardware, including its first test flight of a stealth fighter jet in early 2011 and its launch of a fledgling aircraft carrier - both trials of technologies needing years more of development.
Beijing is also building new submarines, surface ships and anti-ship ballistic missiles as part of its naval modernisation, and has tested emerging technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.
Sanogo charged to a more serious charge of conspiracy to murder which carries the death penalty in the West African nation
Preliminary results based on 82.6 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 43.8 percent, followed by Ghani with 32.9 percent
The violence in the central African state, the size of France, has mainly pitted Kiir's Dinka people against Machar's Nuer. Thousands have been killed and more than one million people uprooted from their homes.
It was not the first time a tourist with such a tattoo has run into trouble in Sri Lanka. In 2013, authorities denied entry to a British man for his tattoo of Buddha.
Several of Washington's key European allies support an investigation into the latest claims of chlorine gas use
Egypt's military said the army had destroyed more than 1,500 tunnels that ran under the frontier between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, which borders North Sinai, in an attempt to stop the illegal flow of arms
"Rising violent extremism is an enormous challenge first for Libya but also for Libya's international partners," Burns told a news conference after talks in the capital Tripoli.
The former Mejlis head-turned-Ukrainian MP Mustafa Jemilev has been outspoken against the Russian annexation of Crimea following a referendum on March 16, in which the mainly ethnic Russia people of Crimea voted to split from Ukraine and join Moscow.
The mountaineering season lasts until the end of May, when cloud from the rainy season pushes up from the south making climbing the world's highest mountain virtually impossible
While the United States said it was disappointed by the deal, which it said could make peace efforts difficult, China said it regarded the move positively
Gruevski has run the small, landlocked former Yugoslav republic of two million people since 2006, in coalition with the DUI party of former ethnic Albanian fighters
The radar station on Yonaguni Island marks Japan's first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years
Lavrov said the United States should use its influence to persuade Kiev to implement its commitments under an international accord on Ukraine that was signed last week.
Ukrainian forces appear to be closing in around Slaviansk, a city of 130,000 which has become a military stronghold for the pro-Russian movement and is entirely controlled by separatist fighters.
The stoppage follows an armed attacked on one of the country's most respected TV anchors.
The crossing remains closed, however, to commercial and industrial goods.