China to raise defence budget by 8.1% in 2018

If the US takes actions that will hurt China, we will retaliate, China dares US

"China doesn't want a trade war with the United States", Mr Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the National People's Congress, said yesterday, on the eve of the parliament's annual session. Sources previously told Reuters that China will maintain its growth target at "around 6.5 percent".

He said China has increased its defence expenditure in recent years mostly to update arms and equipment, improve soldiers' living conditions and training environment.

Almost 3,000 delegates from across China will gather at the imposing Great Hall of the People to sign off on the Communist Party's agenda during the two-week meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC).

He also mentioned his signature Internet plus policy, which he said was among the hallmarks of China's innovation-driven development.

PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang told Bloomberg News the yuan is stable and decided by the market, in response to a question on whether a possible trade war between China and the US will put depreciation pressures on the currency.

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. 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.

Li said China opposes protectionism and supports the settlement of trade disputes through negotiation, but will "resolutely safeguard" its legitimate rights and interest.

Much of China's energies have been focused on what is known as anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD operations that seek to scare the U.S. Navy and other forces far from China's shores.




By the end of the two-week session, the new line-up of top government leaders will be endorsed by the NPC delegates, with former anti-corruption tsar Wang Qishan expected to take up the post of vice-president.

But it is below the 6.9% reported for 2017 - the first time in seven years the pace of growth picked up.

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.

Nevertheless, the Chinese government aims to keep the yuan exchange rate stable with consumer price index to reach expected 3 percent in 2018.

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

The announcement Monday came at a meeting of China's ceremonial legislature that is overshadowed by proposed constitutional changes that would allow President Xi Jinping to remain in power indefinitely. The budget deficit target cut was the first in years, suggesting Beijing will be more watchful of fiscal spending as China advances its fight against financial risks.

"One of the greatest tasks after he took office was to remove all threats to the party and state".

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