China's defense budget in 2018 will be 1.1069 trillion yuan ($174.5 billion), an 8.1 percent increase from over the previous fiscal, local media reported.
The increased allocation is expected to fund ongoing capital and R & D programs including big budget projects such as a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and submarines besides stealth aircraft and drones, with which Beijing wants to flex muscles at the United States.
The defense expenditure in 2017 was 1.0226 trillion yuan, according to the report available to media before the first session of the 13th National People's Congress opening on Monday morning, Global Times said.
China's 2017 defense budget increased 7 percent from 2016 to a total of 1.04 trillion yuan ($152 billion). China increased its military spending 7.6 percent in 2016, 10.1 percent in 2015, 12.2 percent in 2014 and 10.7 percent in 2013.
The single-digit growth will become a normal situation, said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert told Global Times.
China has embarked on a massive military modernization program which includes streamlining military commands, adding new equipment and finding export markets for its home-made aircrafts, ships, submarines and UAVs.