The public line out of Beijing has always been simple: China’s military is for the defense of the homeland.
The reality, however, may be more complicated. Newly released leaked U.S. diplomatic cables claim China is probably hiding both the size of its military buildup, as well as, on occasion, its intentions.
Australia’s national intelligence agency conducted a strategic assessment of China’s military spending, and concluded that the communist countries military buildup “threatens regional stability,” reports the Australian daily The Age.
A leaked cable states that the agency found that China spent $90 billion on its military in 2006 – double the $45 billion budget publicly announced by Beijing, The Age reports.