"China's military budget will continue to increase. But the increase will be smaller compared to last year. It will about seven to eight per cent," Fu Ying, the spokesperson for the annual session of the national legislature the National People's Congress (NPC) told the media.

It will be the first single-digit rise in spending since 2010, when the military budget logged a 7.5 percent increase.

Accusing the US military of of trying to increase its defence budget by hyping the South China Sea (SCS) issue Fu, former Vice Foreign Minister, said the increase is in line with China's national defence need and fiscal revenue.

In 2015 the budget was increased by 10.1 per cent, bringing it to about USD 145 billion) at the time. From India's point of view China's defence spending was almost three times more.

Terming the increase small, Fu said in formulating the defence budget China will take into consideration its defence needs, economic development and fiscal position.

She quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping's words last year that China's 2.3 million strong military will faithfully fulfill its 'sacred duty' of protecting the security of the nation and people’s well being and carry out the noble mission of upholding world peace.     

Earlier answering a question on the growing confrontation between US and China over the SCS, she accused the Washington of militarising the SCS by hyping the 'China threat'. Currently most of the advanced aircraft and warships passing through the SCS Sea belong to the United States.

According to its strategy of pivot to Asia-Pacific, the US has decided to deploy 70 percent its naval force to this region. It is also strengthening military presence in the Asia Pacific region with its allies.

China is revamping its military under a new initiative of President Xi to focus on winning local wars.

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