On Friday Prime Minister Kevin Rudd denied that the spending was a response to China, saying that Australia simply needed "to take a calm, measured, responsible approach for the future".
But Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said the paper acknowledged that the emergence of new powers could lead to some strategic competition across the globe.
"It's very prudent for the government to ensure against the rift that might flow from that increased strategic competition and, of course, it's very prudent for us to recommit to that doctrine of self-reliance," he told Australian radio.
"In other words, we need to be able to defend our country without necessarily relying on the assistance of other nation states."
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