China will raise its defense budget by about 10 percent this year, compared to last year's 12.2 percent, Xinhua reported Wednesday.
Fu Ying a spokeswoman for the annual session of the country's top legislature said in press conference the exact figure will be published in a budget report Thursday.
China's defense budget rose by 12.2 percent last year, riding on a multi-year run of double-digit increases.
A growth rate of about 10 percent could be the lowest in five years.
China as a big country needs an army that can safeguard its national security and people. "To tell the truth, there is still a gap between China's armed forces [and foreign counterparts] in terms of overall military equipment. We still need more time," said Fu.
The capital support is needed for the modernization of China's national defense and its army, Fu added.