China is now the world's second largest economy.
China will "advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness, and firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests", Premier Li Keqiang said. If approved by the USA congress, the latest U.S. defense budget would become the first significant jump in United States military spending in recent years, when the budget mostly stayed stagnant.
Last year, defense spending was set to increase by just 7 per cent, to 1.044 trillion yuan ($164.60-billion), or about one-quarter of the proposed US defense spending for the year.
Swift said the United States and other countries must "wait and see" how the "establishment of such a significant military presence" affects freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
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.
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"There is every indication that China wants to expand what it will call defense capabilities in the South China Sea", Roggeveen predicted.
The CPC-led system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation stresses both the CPC leadership and socialist democracy which features political consultation, participation in the deliberation of state affairs, and democratic supervision, he said.
Li also made clear Beijing's intent to move away from the traditional model of using government spending to drive growth by cutting the country's fiscal deficit to GDP ratio for this year to 2.6 per cent, from 3 per cent in 2017.
On the military front, Premier Li said China has reduced the armed forces by 300,000 troops.
The Australian notes that even with this spending increase, China's military budget remains only about 24 percent of what the United States spends.
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In July China sent a clear message to the world when it staged an awesome display of might in the biggest military parade ever to mark the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army. But China kept its 2018 economic growth target at around 6.5 per cent, said Li, the same as in 2017, despite exceeding that year's target.
The emphasis in China's economy has been changed from the previous era of high-speed growth to one of high-quality growth, with great changes taking place in the economy, such as upgrading of the people's consumption patterns, Xi said.
China plans to do more to support areas affected by extreme poverty, with the central budget's newly enlarged poverty reduction funds and related transfer payments now weighted toward these areas.
"In recent years, China's defense budget growth stopped being double digit".
US provocations in the South China Sea, tension in the Taiwan Strait and the United States, Japan, Australia and India forming alliances demand a rise in spending, it added.
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Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman and president of Gree Electric Appliance, said the report has fully taken the public opinion into consideration as it vows to lighten tax burdens on businesses, and reduce taxes on businesses and individuals by more than 800 billion yuan (US$126 billion). After listening to the suggestions, Mr Xi said he was glad to talk with members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee and that relevant departments must attach great importance to their suggestions.