China to boost defence spending by 7 percent

She said she had noticed from the United States presidential campaign a year ago that all presidential candidates had told "old, or not-quite-true stories" about China, which is "not normal in a society where information is highly accessible".

Tensions in the South China Sea have been particularly acute in the past three years, as China has built seven artificial islands the USA and its allies fear could be used to enforce Beijing's extensive maritime claims in the area.

However, the People's Bank of China has burned through a trillion dollars of foreign exchange reserves since 2014 in order to keep the yuan from falling even further, according to Capital Economics, and traders believe Beijing could allow the currency to float more freely against the dollar.

China's 2016 defence budget was around 954.35 billion Yuan ($138.40 billion) and much smaller compared to that of the USA, which announced a 10% increase in its defence outlay earlier this week.

Parliament spokeswoman Fu Ying, who announced the increase, said defense spending would account for about 1.3 percent of GDP, the same level as the past few years.

Americans' lack of understanding about China fueled "old and untrue" stereotypes during the US presidential campaign, the spokeswoman for the country's legislature said, pledging to address substantive concerns about trade.

"We will boost military training and preparedness, so as to ensure that the sovereignty, security, and development interests of China are resolutely and effectively safeguarded", Li said.

This week influential state-run tabloid the Global Times called for a rise of at least 10 percent to deal with the uncertainty brought by Trump, and a retired senior general told Hong Kong and Taiwan media that 12 percent would be needed to match the US rise. Fu, also a vice minister of China's Foreign Ministry, was speaking to reporters at a briefing ahead of the annual National People's Congress.

It will continue to implement a city-based policy to reduce real estate inventories, mainly in the third and fourth-tier cities, Li said.

"It's often in reaction to China's spending increases that neighbouring countries also decide to strengthen their military capacities", he said.

CHINA pledged to markedly bring down PM2.5 density in key areas in 2017 in a government work report available to the media Sunday morning. With Beijing pressing its maritime claims in the South China Sea, including building military infrastructure on man-made islands, its plans are closely watched. "American actions in the South China Sea have a definite significance as an indicator of how the wind is blowing".

National People's Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying said Saturday that both sides needed to make greater efforts to boost USA knowledge about its largest trading partner.

She said China will continue its military buildup.

Although China has become the second-biggest defense spender in the world, it's investment still pales in comparison to that of the United States.

That follows complaints by US and European business groups that Beijing appears to be trying to squeeze foreign companies out of promising markets including software and other technology.

  • Zachary Reyes