China’s defence spending will exceed Rmb1tn ($145bn) for the first time this year, according to new figures from the annual budget released by the country’s finance ministry. The Ministry of Finance on Monday announced that the annual budget for military defence in 2017 would come to Rmb1.044tn, reflecting a 7% rise from the previous year, the Financial Times reports. That growth rate – announced at the weekend, but without the landmark renminbi figure – nonetheless represents a slowdown from 2015’s rise of 8%. Both the quickest rise and largest absolute increase in China’s military spending plans came in 2014 when spending grew 12% year on year, a rise of Rmb88bn. China’s defence budget has grown at a double-digit rate for the last 25 years, and the country now ranks second only to the US in terms of global military spending, which, exceeding $600bn in 2016, was far higher.