Although issuing a warning of “escalating” dangers, China will increase military spending by more than 7% this year.
The National People’s Congress (NPC), a body tasked with approving President Xi Jinping’s third term, made the announcement.
The US has a military budget that is four times larger than Beijing’s, which is about $225 billion (£186 billion).
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Analysts, though, think China is exaggerating how little it spends on military.
Li Keqiang, the outgoing premier, warned the NPC that “efforts from the outside to restrict and limit China are growing.”
He emphasized that the military should improve its overall readiness and training.
The meeting also declared that China would pursue a lower objective for economic growth.
The meetings, known as The Two Sessions, take place once a year.
Yet, this year’s meetings are particularly significant since delegates are anticipated to change a number of significant Communist Party and government institutions.
The NPC conference this week will also formally inaugurate Mr. Xi as president of China and commander in chief of the armed forces.
While Mr. Xi manages deteriorating relations with the US over the Ukraine war and the latest spy balloon scandal, as well as as he warms his embrace of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, there has been an increase in military investment.
US officials have also repeatedly warned that China could invade Taiwan in the coming years. China has demonstrated increasing levels of military violence, including launching ballistic missiles, in the air and sea around Taiwan.
China views self-governing Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually come under Beijing’s control.
The National People’s Congress will also unveil the new prime minister, China’s equivalent of a prime minister who traditionally oversees the economic and administrative aspects of governance.
Li Qiang, one of Mr. Xi’s most trusted colleagues, is expected to take on the role