Washington: The hike in the Chinese defence budget is not surprising, the Pentagon has said, as it being more than USD 100 billion is still roughly one-fifth that of the United States.

"We are aware of the growth that has taken place for some time in China's military budget.

This was not something that was unexpected. They have continued to try to advance their military capabilities," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters during an off camera news conference.

Little was responding to questions on the announcement made in Beijing on Sunday that in 2012 the official spending on the People's Liberation Army would be USD 110 billion, an increase of 12.7 percent over the last year.

"USD 100 plus billion, I would notice is roughly a fifth of the current US defence budget," he said. "The important thing for us, of course, is to continue to forge ways of developing even more cooperative mil-to-mil relationship with Beijing," Little said.

"The recent visit by the Vice President (Xi Jinping) of China was an important step and we believe that there is a strong chance that we develop greater co-operation. The key for us is to try to increase transparency in the relationship and that's the priority for the US moving forward," he said.