China hikes defence budget to $175 bn


China set a 2018 budget deficit target that's lower than last year's ratio even as it said "proactive" fiscal policy remains unchanged.

As Beijing had shifted from high-speed growth to high-quality growth, and increased the emphasis on people's welfare and the environment, so the regional government should lift its people out of poverty and do all it can to protect its grasslands and lakes, he said. "A curtailment in the official fiscal and growth target makes sense".

China on Monday unveiled its defense spending hike at the opening of its rubber-stamp parliament.

It [China's defense budget] looks to be connected to the nation's economy.

China's top economic official set a robust growth target Monday, promising a market more open to investors and cuts in a bloated steel industry that has inflamed trade tensions with Washington and Europe.

"All this means that we have the ability and the conditions to achieve higher quality, more efficient, fairer and more sustainable development", Li said.

Of particular note was the government's announcement that it's now targeting a budget deficit of 2.6 per cent of GDP, significantly below forecasts of 2.9 per cent and down from a target of 3 per cent at the same time past year. Expenditure on social security coverage is expected to increase continuously, such as retirement pension and healthcare insurance expenses.

Premier Li Keqiang has an "impossible challenge" if he wants to slash China's budget deficit target, deleverage the economy, and cut taxes, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics Ltd. He stressed that major advances had been recorded in developing military technology and equipment with the help of greater civilian-military industrial integration.

Shanghai-based military expert Ni Leixong argued the increase was because of several security threats faced by China.

"In recent years, China's defense budget growth stopped being double digit". In 2016, it was 7.6 percent. Last year, it was 7 percent. There's a slight increase.

The NPC report said a working group was formed to spearhead the process of soliciting a wide range of opinions on the amendments, led by NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang and assisted by Xi loyalists. But it's not an overreaction and it's not alarming.

China is the second largest spender on defence after the US. But it's a quarter of what the U.S. defense budget. "It is extremely alarming for Australia and many other countries in the region".

The statement came after China announced it would raise its military spending this year.

"China's defense budget is neither the largest in size - it accounts for just one-fourth of the military spending of the United States - nor does it have the fastest growth rate", the English-language newspaper said.

Beijing isn't dialing down the amount of money that goes to the military, though.

At this congress, delegates will rubber stamp critical changes to the constitution that will give the Party more control than ever and give one man, President Xi Jinping the potential to rule for life. I think China has moved away from that.

"What China needs to do is to tackle both symptoms and root causes, and take effective measures to defuse potential risks", Li said.

Trump's comments on China's president were also taken seriously by Chinese analysts, according to the New York Times.