BEIJING (AP) — Foreign reporters are being allowed to attend China’s Defense Ministry briefings for the first time, marking a small milestone in the increasingly confident Chinese military’s efforts to project a more transparent image.

Restrictions still apply and there is no sign of an improvement in the generally paltry amount and poor quality of information released by the People’s Liberation Army, the world’s largest standing military with 2.3 million members.

The foreign journalists were invited to the monthly briefing on Thursday for the first time.

Officers charged with overseeing the briefings say it reflects a desire by the top brass to allay foreigners’ concerns over fast-expanding budgets, vast hardware improvements, and an increasingly clear determination to use the military to assert China’s interests and territorial claims.