Wen also said China is committed to the peaceful use of outer space, despite international concerns over its recent antisatellite-missile test.
"We are sincere in sticking to the path of peaceful development," Wen said. "Our policy is only for self-defense. Our limited military power is for maintaining the security, independence, and sovereignty of our country. On this matter, we are completely transparent."
Wen spoke after the close of a parliamentary session, in which lawmakers approved a 17.8 percent increase in defense spending. The United States and Japan have raised concerns about China's growing military budget.