An apparent demonstration has drawn hundreds of protesters to China's defense ministry in central Beijing.

Nearly 1,000 protesters Tuesday were walking and standing in front of the Bayi building, which houses the Chinese Ministry of National Defense. Many wore green fatigues with the hammer-and-sickle logo of China's ruling Communist Party.

Protesters approached by The Associated Press declined to be interviewed about why they were there. Police tried to block reporters from entering the protest or filming it.

China's military is undergoing a large-scale modernization and cutting hundreds of thousands of soldiers from the ranks. Veterans have periodically staged sit-ins and protests outside the defense ministry over low pensions and benefits.

It wasn't clear if anyone had been arrested. Public safety officials did not immediately respond to faxed questions.