China raises 2018 defence spending by 8.1%, keeps growth target at 6.5%


China raises 2018 defence spending by 8.1%, keeps growth target at 6.5%

China's top political advisory body started its annual session Saturday afternoon in Beijing, vowing to take on new mission for the country's goal toward a "great modern socialist country".

In the announcement Zhang said that given its total value of $580 billion, bilateral trade between the USA and China will inevitable experience friction but highlighted how a trade war with between the two countries is not China's intention.

Premier Li Keqiang is now delivering his work report at the opening ceremony on Monday and the annual budget will also be released.

The report says Beijing will continue to uphold its "one China" principle and promote the "peaceful growth" of cross-strait relations under the 1992 consensus, which agrees that there is only one country without specifying which is its rightful representative. The National Development and Reform Commission, the state planner, said in a separate report that outstanding total social financing (TSF) and M2 growth will grow at a similar pace this year as in 2017.

Last year, experts of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) claimed that in 2032, mainland China would likely overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy in dollar terms. Last week, President Trump announced plans to impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports, a move some experts fear could lead to a global trade war. Li said China has successfully managed economic downward pressure and avoided an economic "hard landing".

Yet, China will keep its yuan currency basically stable, Li said in remarks to the opening of the annual meeting of parliament.

The chairman of the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, which worked on both ships, said the company was "ready to build larger" carriers after gaining the experience to make more, the state-run China Daily newspaper said Friday.

"The policy changes of the major economies and their spillover effects create uncertainty; protectionism is mounting, and geopolitical risks are on the ascent", Li said.

However, since the economy has been expanding at such a strong pace, analysts said the cut was again more symbolic of Beijing's intention to further control debt growth.

The 2018 defense spending increase comes as China's economic growth expanded 6.9 percent a year ago, the first acceleration in annual growth since 2010.

The fiscal deficit is set at 2.38 trillion yuan ($375.2 billion) this year and the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio is set at 2.6 percent, compared with 3 percent set last year, according to the report.

The Chinese authorities also intend to unlock gradually the national market of bank cards' clearing as well as securities and funds management.

Remaining in power beyond 2023 gives President Xi Jinping a chance to push through his vision of a rejuvenated China with global clout, a prosperous society and a powerful military.

The ruling Communist Party last month set the stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely, with a proposal to remove term limits from the constitution.



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