China’s National People’s Congress reveals long term plans for nation


China announced it will increase military spending by the smallest amount in years. The National People’s Congress spokeswoman made the statement on the eve of the opening session of the top legislative body.

CGTN’s Han Peng reports.

Foreign media alleged that China’s growing military strength is making other countries “highly concerned and vigilant”.

NPC spokesperson Fu Ying refuted those remarks, as she announced Chinese plans to increase military spending by 7 percent in 2017, 3 percent less than the United States.

“Strengthening Chinese capabilities benefits regional peace and security. If we talk about vigilance… look at the wars and conflicts, the loss of life, and displacement of refugees over the past decade,” Fu said. “Has China caused a single one the U.S. already has a huge military budget. I wonder if they would be asked the same question.”

Ying has been the spokesperson for the National People’s Congress for five consecutive years.

The former Chinese diplomat is known for her stylish handling of sharp questions.

Last winter, almost all cities in China were shrouded by heavy smog. Most pollutants come from steel and coal plants, as well as car emissions.

Uncertainty over Sino-U.S. relations is also under the spotlight. Last year, the new U.S. President, Donald Trump questioned the One-China policy and said China’s entry to the World Trade Organization caused tens of thousands of U.S. factories to shut down.

“Should challenges arise, China will deal with them calmly. We’ve seen quite a number of high level interactions. President Xi and President Trump have had two telephone calls. The message from the calls was clear: both leaders understand the need for more cooperation and good partnership.,” Fu said.

The press conference marks the beginning of China’s annual National People’s Congress, when around 3,000 deputies will cast their votes to decide the country’s next steps.

Liu Ping discusses expectations for this year’s NPC session

To help explain general expectations for this year’s two sessions, CGTN’S Susan Roberts spoke to Liu Ping, a Washington Correspondent for the China Times.