China's military budget to grow at slowest pace in five years
(Source: CNN) 2016-03-05
Beijing (CNN)China says its military budget will increase by 7% to 8% in 2016, the slowest pace in five years.
Fu Ying, the spokeswoman for the National People's Congress, China's parliament, which begins its annual 11-day session Saturday, said Friday the increase was based on "defense needs" and government revenue.
The lower-than-expected figure comes amid an economic slowdown, with China's growth rate at its weakest in a quarter of a century.
China said it would spend a total of 887 billion yuan ($144.2 billion) in 2015, an increase of 10.1%.
This is only a quarter of what the U.S. spends on its military. But, while China's budget has increased by double digits every year since 2010, U.S. spending has declined since then.
Fu said the government would release exact figures Saturday.