China has no desire to overturn the existing global order and its increasingly powerful military does not constitute a threat to others, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and National People's Congress (NPC) spokesman Zhang Yesui (張業遂) said yesterday.
The defence budget numbers are released in Premier's work report released on the first day of the NPC.
The economy grew by 6.9 per cent previous year but that was supported by a boom in bank lending and real estate sales that regulators are trying to curb due to concern about rising debt.
Experts said Xi's designation of Commander in Chief was symbolic and stressed his control over the country and its military power. By tradition since the early 1990s, one person has held all three posts at the same time.More news: Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA) Shares Bought by Arizona State Retirement System
"But if the U.S. takes actions that hurt Chinese interests, China will not sit idly by and will take necessary measures", Zhang said in China's strongest reaction yet since Trump announced the levies on Friday.
Chinese officials have defended the end of Xi's term limits as necessary to ensure continuity as Beijing undertakes a sprawling long-range agenda aimed at making state industry competitive and productive, developing profitable high-tech industry, reducing poverty and cleaning up China's battered environment.
Years of double-digit percentage growth have given China the world's second largest defence budget after the United States, which is in a class of its own with a proposed budget of $716 billion for next year. However, it still is high enough that private-sector analysts have questioned whether it can be achieved without setting back reform efforts by pumping up bank lending and government stimulus spending.
"Countries around the world adjust their defence budget according to their defence needs and their level of economic development".More news: Ford Motor (F) Stake Increased by RDL Financial Inc
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said on Sunday that China's "moderate" defence spending rises in the past few years were less than for other major countries and would not threaten anyone.
The report comes a day after 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. He said the military would "firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests".
"There is every indication that China wants to expand what it will call defence capabilities in the South China Sea".
The move has been met with widespread concern among liberal intellectuals and political observers.More news: Andres Iniesta suffered a hamstring injury in Barcelona's match with Atletico
Legislators also are due to endorse the appointment of economic and other officials picked by the party.