China announced on Monday that its military budget of 2018 would increase 8.1 percent from 2017, the largest rise in the last three years as the government maintained overall economic growth targets the same as a year prior.
According to a budget report issued at the opening of the country's annual meeting of parliament, the 2018 defense budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion). The defense budget of last year was set to increase by just 7 percent compared to that of 2016, to 1.044 trillion yuan ($164.60 billion).
China will keep its 2018 economic growth target at around 6.5 percent, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang said at the parliament's opening session, China will “advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness, and firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests.”
However, compared to other major countries, China's defense budget is neither the largest in size nor does it have the fastest growth rate. The China’s defense budget only accounts for a quarter of the military spending of the United States. The report said, “If calculated in per capita terms, China's military lags well behind other major countries.”