China to raise defence budget by around 7%

Beijing, March 4: China's 2017 defence budget will expand by around 7 per cent, a spokesperson for the annual session of the country's top legislature announced on Saturday.

Fu Ying, spokesperson for the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) annual session, said the increase is in line with China's economic development and defence needs, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country's defence budget rose by 7.6 per cent in 2016.

The fresh raise could be the country's slowest defence budget rise in more than a decade, and mark the second time that defence budget dip to single-digit increase since 2010. 

In 2009, the figure was about 15 per cent.

Fu, meanwhile, noted that China's defence spending accounts for about only 1.3 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, as compared with NATO members' pledge to dedicate at least 2 per cent of GDP to defence.

"You should ask them what their intentions are," Fu added.