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China is increasing its military spending by almost 10%

China is increasing its military spending by almost 10%”

Despite the lower deficit target, the absolute amount of the deficit is expected to be unchanged at 2.38 trillion yuan ($375.92 billion), according to the finance ministry's annual budget report.

China's defence budget takes up a smaller share of its gross domestic product (GDP) and national fiscal expenditure compared with other major countries, Zhang Yesui, the spokesperson of the NPC told the media here yesterday.

China's secretive military had begun to open up a crack in recent years, and the National People's Congress spokesman in recent years has made a tradition of responding to a question on the defence budget by announcing the percentage increase over the past years, at least in rough terms. China has carried out reform and opening up for 40 years, during which the Chinese economy has grown rapidly, laying a solid material foundation for consolidating national defense and strengthening the military.

"That lack of transparency is most troubling", he said.

"We don't have to follow other countries' models".

China plans to do more to support areas affected by extreme poverty, with the central budget's newly enlarged poverty reduction funds and related transfer payments now weighted toward these areas.

Improving the people's well-being, an objective of economic growth, was also given special mention.

Swift said the United States and other countries must "wait and see" how the "establishment of such a significant military presence" affects freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

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China's neighbours and the USA have watched warily as Beijing has modernised its military, reducing its ground troops while spending on state-of-the-art hardware and weapons.

China will be releasing their new defense budget next week, which has caused a senior diplomat to announce on Sunday that it is not meant as a threat to anyone and is only being done to make up for past deficiencies in China's military.

The removal of limits also looks set to apply to the posts of party general secretary and the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission, the crucial trio of powers already held by the most powerful leader in China, Wu said.

In a further display of sophistication, China said in early February that it had successfully tested a mid-course anti-missile defense system, deploying similar technology to that used to destroy a defunct Chinese satellite in 2007.

The report said that China's economics and financial risks were "on the whole manageable".

Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia-Pacific economist at Natixis in Hong Kong, cites calculations showing China's revenues as a percentage of output clearly declining since 2015.

All three of China's sea forces - the navy, coast guard and maritime militia - are the largest of their types by number of ships, allowing them to "maintain presence and influence in vital seas", according to Andrew S. Erickson of the U.S. Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute.



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