>> China announcing a rise in its defense budget for this year, but only by a mere 7%, making it the slowest rise since 2010.>> China's defense budget will rise about 7% in 2017, our defense spending accounts for about 1.3% of GDP. It's the same level as the past few years, which is an accurate figure provided by the Finance Ministry.
>> The announcement comes days after President Donald Trump proposed an increase in the US military budget. A 7% rise would still only bring the Chinese defense spend to a quarter of the American budget. China will reveal the actual figure, on Sunday, when its Parliament begins its annual session.
Analysts say a stalling economy has meant the government has had to slow down its military ambitions. Last year, the defense budget recorded its lowest increase in six years, at 7.6%, the first single digit rise since 2010. Prior to that, China saw a nearly unbroken two-decade run of double digit budget increases.
The country's military buildup rattles many in the region, as China becomes more assertive over territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.