The Soviet Union today defended Warsaw Pact military spending against Romanian criticism and linked the need for more arms to China's increased ties with the "forces of imperialism and reaction."

The Kremlin's answer to Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu's weekend criticism of a two-day Warsaw Pact summit meeting last week in Moscow appeared on the front page of the Communist Party daily, Pravda.

"The key problem of contemporary international life is the task of [achieving] a decisive turn toward ending the arms race, toward disarmament," said the statement issued jointly by the Communist Party Politburo, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the Council of Ministers.

"However, the Soviet Union considers that in view of the arms race being conducted by the NATO states, there exists the necessity of maintaining and strengthening the defense potential of the united armed forces of the Warsaw Pact."

In a speech last Saturday, Ceausescu criticized planned increases in military spending by NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, saying they would be "a big mistake."

The Soviet declaration also condemned what it called the "forces of imperialism and reaction," which it said are seeking to damage the international political climate. It linked them directly to China, which has relatively friendly relations with Romania.