>> Delegates from around China arriving for the annual Congress in Beijing. Topics of concern include how to further reforms to help the slowing economy and expanding the country's national defense forces. In the opening session, China pledging more support for its military.>>
And ensure that important operations relating to countering terrorism, safeguarding, stability, international peacekeeping, and providing an escort in high seas are well organized.>> Parliament had earlier announced defense spending will rise about 7% this year but in a highly unusual move didn't elaborate on the budget.>>
Its military build up already rattling nerves around the region, particularly with China taking an increasingly assertive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.
The National People's Congress also hearing the countries growth target is cut to 6.5% this year. In 2016, a targeted growth of 6.5 to 7% had been set. Ultimately, achieving 6.7, the slowest pace in 26 years for the world's second largest economy. It comes as China pushes through painful reforms to address a rapid build up in debt and constructs a firewall against financial risks.
A lending binge and increased government spending last year fueling worries about high debt levels and an overheating housing market. Congress expected to sit for roughly ten days.>>