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China says 2017 defense budget to expand around 7%

China says 2017 defense budget to expand around 7%

BEIJING, March 4 (PNA/Kyodo) — China’s defense budget will expand around 7 percent in 2017 from the previous year, a senior official said Saturday, as the Asian power’s push to modernize its naval and air forces continues in combination with its extensive territorial claims in regional waters.

A day before China’s parliament starts its annual session, Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National’s People’s Congress, unveiled the budget’s estimated increase that is expected to push the whole amount above 1 trillion yuan (USD144.87 billion) for the first time.

Fu said the expansion is necessary for China to defend “national sovereignty and interests” and “guard (itself) against outsiders’ meddling in (maritime) disputes.” (PNA/Kyodo)
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