Photo Gallery China's Rising Power

Next week, Beijing will open its 18th party congress at which the Communist Party will select the country's new leaders. One of the core issues at the meeting will be the role in China of a military that has gained considerable influence.
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A Chinese anti-terror unit during a training drill in Dongguan, China.

Foto: AP/ Xinhua
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In recent years, China has been increasing its investment in the military significantly. The budget was raised by more than 11 percent in 2012 alone.

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Naval honor guards stand as they wait for a review on China's aircraft carrier Liaoning in Dalian, Liaoning province in September.

Foto: REUTERS / Xinhua
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Peng Liyuan is the famous singer wife of expected future Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The performer is influential nationwide and sings soldier's songs. She is adored by the country and holds a civilian rank equal to that of a major general. Her husband, who has military experience, maintains close contacts within the armed forces.

Foto: Xiao Li/ dpa
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Here, Chinese military delegates arrive for a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Some hardliners in the military would like to see the armed forces depoliticized and more independent of the Communist Party. But leaders of the country's sole party believe this would be a dangerous move.

Foto: Andy Wong/ AP
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But current Chinese vice president and future leader Xi Jinping is considered a tactically skillful and moderate politician. He is unlikely to risk curbing the powers of the military or even limiting the increases in their budgets. But he is also unlikely to support any military adventures.

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Some analyst fear the increased military spending in China is a sign that it might flex its new muscles in the future. But many Chinese, including influential party official Li Qun note that American military spending is still five times as high as the amount Beijing spends on its armed forces.

Foto: Feng Li/ Getty Images
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China is also the creator of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a sort of anti-NATO. Within the SCO, Beijing, together with Russia and most of the Central Asian countries, have developed stategies against the risks of terrorism. Here, the Chinese navy's missile destroyer DDG-112 Harbin fires a shell during a Chinese-Russian joint military exercise in April in the Yellow Sea.

Foto: Wu Dengfeng/ AP
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