NPC 2018: China sees steady growth in consumption in 2018

  • NPC 2018: China sees steady growth in consumption in 2018

NPC 2018: China sees steady growth in consumption in 2018

A large part of the increased spending is for upgrading equipment, supporting military reforms and improving the welfare and training conditions of servicemen and women, Chen said.

China is the second largest spender on defence after the US. However, its figure is still far lower than President Donald Trump's US proposal, which would provide the Pentagon with $617 billion and an additional $69 billion for ongoing wars in fiscal year 2019-a $74 billion increase over the previous fiscal year's budget.

Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman and president of Gree Electric Appliance, said the report has fully taken the public opinion into consideration as it vows to lighten tax burdens on businesses, and reduce taxes on businesses and individuals by more than 800 billion yuan (US$126 billion).

On the eve of China's parliament session, its spokesperson Zhang Yesui said the constitution of the CPC does not stipulate that general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairperson of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the CPC shall not serve more than two consecutive terms.

"What's alarming is not the non-reporting of largely fictitious defense spending figures so much as the Chinese leadership is shedding even the pretense of being open about its military plans", Jennings said in an email to The Associated Press.

It ascribed the rise in the country's military budget to tensions in the South China Sea and plans by the US, Japan, Australia and India to form alliances.

China's economic planner on Tuesday expressed confidence in achieving the 6.5 percent annual growth target as domestic consumption is expected to become a stronger force driving economic development.

The 2018 defense budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan (about 175 billion USA dollars), according to a budget report submitted to the first session of the 13th National People's Congress Monday.

In 2016, it grew 7.6 percent.

"The pace and scale of this build-up is really dramatic", Sam Roggeveen, a Visiting Fellow at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center at Australian National University in Canberra, told the Reuters news agency.

With a defense policy that is defensive in nature, China's development will not pose a threat to any other country, he said.

USA warships, meanwhile, regularly conduct "freedom of navigation" operations near the islands to challenge China's territorial claims.

In his annual work report, Li also stressed that China had cut its budget deficit target for the first time since 2012, suggesting the government will be more watchful of fiscal spending.

One senior Asia diplomat, speaking before the announcement was made, said the real rise would likely be at least double what China revealed considering efforts to build up the industrial military complex and deepen military-civilian integration. That was four times less than the United States, spending 603 billion Dollars, but more than Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, respectively, spending 77 billion Dollars and 61 billion Dollars, according to data from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

It justified the rise in defense spending by China's "maritime interests being increasingly infringed upon in recent years".

NPC spokesman Zhang Yesui said on Sunday that while China does not want a trade war "if the USA takes actions that hurt Chinese interests, China will not sit idly by".