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"We have undertaken major missions involving the protection of maritime rights, countering terrorism and maintaining stability, disaster rescue and relief, global peacekeeping, escort services in the Gulf of Aden, and humanitarian rescue", Li said of the Chinese military's recent activities.

"That's because China's military threats are several times more than India's, such as the development of Taiwan independence groups, the South China Sea dispute, the dispute with Japan over Diaoyu Islands and the situation in the Korean Peninsula", Ni said.

While China's actual defense spending remains opaque, the country has undertaken a decadeslong quest to modernize its military and expand its air and naval capabilities worldwide.

In recent years China has announced how much their military spending budget was increased the day before their legislature opened, this year Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, who is the parliament spokesman, decided not to announce how much spending would be rising.

Mr. Li also underscored that during the phase of modernisation, the military must fully observe the leadership of President Xi Jinping and the Party.

China is the second largest spender on defence after the US.

China announced a 8.1 per cent hike in its defence expenditure for this year to a whopping United States dollars 175 billion, which is over three times higher than India's defence budget.

The target of "around 6.5 percent", announced by Premier Li Keqiang to the National People's Congress, is down slightly from 2017 but would be among the world's strongest if achieved. I expect eventually we will see warships and aircraft there regularly, if not based there permanently.

The GDP growth target is the same as that of previous year, but might deliver different growth as China makes it clear to prioritize growth quality over pace. "We see time and time again this reinforcement of the views that suggest this is a military focus, not an economic focus, not a diplomatic focus, it's not to ensure the navigation of all ships".

China will adhere to the path of peaceful development and a national defense policy that's defensive in nature, said Chen Zhou, adding that China's development doesn't threaten any other country.

Chinas economy expanded 6.9 per cent year-on-year in 2017 above the government's target of around 6.5 per cent. That was four times less than the United States, spending 603 billion Dollars, but more than Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, respectively, spending 77 billion Dollars and 61 billion Dollars, according to data from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

According to Maj. Gen. Zhen Chou, the increase in China's national defense budget is reasonable, legal, appropriate and sustainable, given the profound changes in China's national strength, the security environment and the global strategic situation.


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