Bloomberg: Hello, my question is about Chinas defense expenditure. Chinas rising defense spending has also raised concerns in some countries in the Asia-Pacific region that it poses a threat. Also, Japan and other countries have expressed concern about the transparency of Chinas military expenditure. Id like to ask how much Chinas defense expenditure will increase this year. How will China respond to concerns about the lack of transparency and increased defense spending? Thank you.
Zhang Yesui: Thank you for your question. Maintaining a reasonable and moderate increase in defense expenditure is necessary for maintaining national security and adapting to military reform with Chinese characteristics. Longitudinally, since 2016, Chinas defense expenditure has dropped from five consecutive years of double-digit growth to one-digit growth. I think you are very clear about these proportions. Horizontal comparison shows that Chinas defense expenditure accounted for about 1.3% of GDP in 2018, while the defense expenditure of some major developed countries accounted for more than 2% of GDP in the same period.
I think whether a country poses a military threat to other countries depends on its foreign and defense policies, not on how much its defense spending has increased. China has always adhered to the path of peaceful development and implemented a defensive national defense policy. Chinas limited defense expenditure is solely for the sake of safeguarding its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and will not pose a threat to other countries. Thank you.