China will raise its defense budget between 7 and 8 percent for 2016, a spokesperson for the annual session said.
China’s budget will rise to around 980 billion yuan ($150bn) and is much lesser than last year’s budget raise of 10.1 per cent.
Defence spending last year was budgeted to rise 10.1% to 886.9bn yuan ($135.39bn), which still only represents about one-quarter that of the United States. The US defence budget for 2016 is $573bn, the Guardian news daily reported Friday.
“China’s military budget will continue to grow this year but the margin will be lower than last year and the previous years,” Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the national people’s congress (NPC) was quoted as saying by the news daily.
“It will be between seven to eight percent.”
The exact increase will be announced on Saturday at the opening of the NPC, Fu told reporters.