China says its "moderate" defence spending rises are no threat

China's super rich legislators get richer

Preview of China's Two Sessions 2018

Trump struck a defiant tone on Friday, saying trade wars were good and easy to win, a day after he said he meant to put duties of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum products.

The actual number for defense spending should be released on Monday, when China's largely rubber-stamp parliament begins its annual session, though previous year it was initially not announced, prompting concerns about transparency.

Trump on Friday described trade wars as "good and easy to win" after announcing his plan for the tariffs.

How much China spends on its armed forces is closely watched around the region and in Washington for pointers about the country's broader strategic intentions amid an impressive modernization program that has included developing stealth fighters, aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles.

"China's defense budget takes up a smaller share of its gross domestic product [GDP] and national fiscal expenditure than other major world countries".

That move follows complaints that China is not open enough about how it funds its military or what the goals of its massive campaign of expansion and modernisation are. That is $74 billion more than in the budget for the previous fiscal year. Zhang said China's military budget is still lower than that of other major countries but in contrast to usual practice for the pre-legislative briefing, did not give any figures.

FILE - A general view of Gwadar port in Gwadar, Pakistan Oct. 4, 2017.

During this year's annual meetings, China's communist party aims to solidify its self-proclaimed position as the only political organization qualified to rule the country, with the passage of 21 constitutional amendments. The proposal paves the way for Xi to become China's president indefinitely, although state media denies Xi will be granted tenure for life.

Summarising the work and experience over the past five years, Yu said the CPPCC should remain committed to its nature as "an important platform for all Chinese political parties, social organisations, and people from all ethnic groups and all sectors of society to work together and participate in the deliberation of state affairs in a democratic manner".

"Rather, it will affect employment and jeopardize the welfare of American consumers", she said, adding that "China will take necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests".

Zhang added that China will not impose anything on others and has no intention of overthrowing the existing global order or trying to start again.

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