On the opening day of the annual National People’s Congress yesterday, China announced an 8.1% increase on its defence spending for 2018, reports Reuters, bringing the total to RMB 1.11 trillion ($175 billion).
In his opening address, Premier Li Keqiang said that China will “advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness, and firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests.”
China’s consistent militarisation has been a concern for fellow Asian countries, due to tensions in the East and South China Seas, and questions surrounding Taiwan.
Defence spending grew 7% in 2017 to RMB 1.04 trillion, roughly one-quarter of the equivalent U.S. budget.
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