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China shows off helicopter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 01:28

July 24 - Foreign media invited to review some of China's military. Julie Noce reports.

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EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL The Chinese government gave foreign journalists a rare tour of a military base in Beijing. Officers showed off the airforce's new elite multi-purpose Z-9 helicopter. International concerns have grown recently over China's increasing military muscle-- especially in the South China Sea -- where China has asserted its sovereignty claims over a group of islands that Vietnam, the Philippines and China all claim as their own. Chinese officials have raised the stakes by declaring of one islands a Chinese city. Over the weekend, officials announced they would begin stationing troops on the island, and formally christened it during a ceremony. But back in Beijing, when asked if those troops deployed to the island city would have Z-9 helicopters, officials remained vague. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) UNNAMED AIRFORCE CAPTAIN SAYING: "I think if we need to be deployed, we should be able to deploy ourselves at a moment's notice. As for other (concerns), it is not convenient for me to answer your questions for now." China is boosting military spending by 11.2 percent this year with a near-unbroken string of double-digit rises in military spending each year for the past two decades. Even still, foreign experts widely believe China's official military budget underestimates its actual spending. Julie Noce, Reuters

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China shows off helicopter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 01:28

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