China on Tuesday detailed the structure of its military force in a special national defense report that also took a swipe at the United States for what it described as stoking tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
In what state media in China said was a first, Beijing outlined in broad strokes its People's Liberation Army, which includes ground, air and naval forces. The defense white paper said the PLA had 850,000 troops in its ground mobile operational units, 398,000 in the air force, and 235,000 naval personnel manning three fleets.
China's defense budget rose by 11.2 percent in 2012, exceeding $100 billion, about one-seventh what the U.S. spent in the same year.
"The U.S. is adjusting its Asia-Pacific security strategy," the paper said, alluding to the White House policy of shifting its strategic focus to Asia. Later, it refers to "some country" as having "strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanded its military presence in the region [which] ... frequently makes the situation tenser."
It cited "multiple and complicated security threats" facing China as well as its "unshakeable national commitment ... to take the road of peaceful development."
The paper also mentioned Beijing's tussles with its maritime neighbors over territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea, including Japan's "making trouble over the issue of the Diaoyu Islands," which Tokyo calls the Senkaku islands. Japan, Taiwan and China all claim the small chain.