(From AFP)

China will raise its defense spending by seven to eight percent this year, a top official said Friday, a smaller increase than the double-digit rises of the past as Beijing seeks a more efficient military.

China is seeking to craft a more efficient and effective People’s Liberation Army

At the same time, the rising power is increasing its military heft and asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, raising tensions with its neighbours and with Washington.

“China’s military budget will continue to grow this year but the margin will be lower than last year’s and the previous years,” said Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress (NPC), the Communist-controlled parliament.

“It will be between seven and eight percent.”

The exact increase will be announced on Saturday at the opening of the NPC, Fu told reporters. Read More

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