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China to raise defence budget by 8.1% in 2018: Xinhua

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China will increase its defence spending by 8.1 per cent in 2018, giving its military budget a higher boost than last year, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

[BEIJING] China will increase its defence spending by 8.1 per cent in 2018, giving its military budget a higher boost than last year, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The target, which is the same as last year, was presented in a report for Monday’s opening session of the annual National People’s Congress, the rubber-stamp parliament.  

The figure, along with an inflation target of three per cent, is “fitting given the fact that China’s economy is transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development”, the report said.  

China beat forecasts in 2017 as the world’s second grew by 6.9 per cent, picking up steam for the first time since 2010 despite a battle against massive debt and polluting factories.  

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Beijing has largely relied on debt-fuelled investment and exports to drive its tremendous economic growth of the past four decades but it is now seeking to move its economy to more sustainable consumption-based growth.

AFP