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China to increase defence budget by 7%

06 March 2017

"She said defense spending would amount to roughly 1.3 percent of China's gross domestic product".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is due to deliver the country's economic report card to the National People's Congress (NPC) in the capital Beijing. The country registered the slowest economic growth in 26 years, which political leaders have labelled "the new normal".

This suggests China has little intention of starting an arms race with the United States, where President Trump just recommended a 10% increase in military spending to $603 billion. "In particular, we need to guard against outside forces intervening in these disputes". Unlike China, the USA provides a breakdown of spending between the army, navy, air force and other units.

That means continuing to make credit available for local governments to build infrastructure, which should flow through to robust steel production, even if this number is slightly lower than previous year. The more signs that Beijing is taking on tough problems, the more investors cling to the idea that the China miracle has room to run.

Beijing has also come under criticism for militarizing man-made islands in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.

"It is based on the CPC's long experience of governance and theoretical confidence that they applied Marxist political economy to guide the drive to build the well-off society on the one hand, and developed Marxism on the other hand", Tian said.

According to Chinese state media, the visit allowed a space for Beijing and Washington to discuss areas of common interest and for China to ask for mutual respect on "core interests" - a clear signal that Beijing will not walk softly on areas it considers to be sovereignty matters, such as Taiwan and tensions in the East and South China Seas.

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She stopped short of criticizing Mr. Trump's proposal for raising US military spending, saying only that the Pentagon budget was already huge.

She said China's defence budget accounted for 1.3 per cent of the country's GDP, compared with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members' pledge to dedicate at least two per cent of GDP to defence.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg came under attack on social media as he jogged in China's capital past year as the air pollution index was well into the hazardous zone at about 15 times of the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.

Mr Yu said in 2016, China strengthened the fundamental role of the CPPCC's research and studies. Last month, they installed two men with ties to Xi as head of major economic agencies: Zhong Shan, a former deputy to Xi in eastern China, as commerce minister, and He Lifeng, who helped Xi with his One Belt One Road infrastructure initiative, as head of the National Development and Reform Commission. China's defense budget is expected to grow to $233 billion (219 million euros) by 2020, while the U.S. defense budget topped $600 billion in 2016.

The VAT overhaul, which began on a trial basis in Shanghai in 2012, is touted to ease the tax burden of services, which accounted for more than half of China's economy for the first time in 2015 and grew at a faster pace than the whole economy. "The most ideal is 12 percent", Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, a retired deputy commander of the former Nanjing Military Command, told the South China Morning post on Friday.

The target growth rate is likely to remain unchanged.

"The gap in capabilities with the U.S. is enormous, but China's military development and construction will continue in keeping with our need to defend our national sovereignty and security", she said.

China to increase defence budget by 7%