China confirms 7% increase in 2017 defence budget

[BEIJING] A Finance Ministry official confirmed China's defence budget will rise 7 per cent in 2017, to 1.044 trillion yuan (S$213.7 billion), state media said on Monday.

The official Xinhua news agency gave the figures on its microblog, citing an unnamed Finance Ministry official.

On Saturday, the spokeswoman of China's parliament, Fu Ying, had said defence spending for this year would rise about 7 per cent, accounting for about 1.3 per cent of gross domestic product - the same level as the last few years.

But in a highly unusual move, the exact figure was not included in a Finance Ministry report issued at Sunday's opening of parliament's annual meeting, triggering questions over the transparency of China's military spending.

REUTERS

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