China will raise its defense budget by 8.1% in 2018, according to a budget report to be submitted to the national legislature Monday, up from last year's 7%.
The 2018 defense budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan (US$175 billion), according to the report available to media before the first session of the 13th National People's Congress opens Monday morning, Xinhua reported.
Although slightly higher than the previous two years, the growth rate is the third time to dip into the single digit since 2013, following 7.6% in 2016 and 7% in 2017.
Read alsoPoltorak: Javelin supply heralds new era of cooperation with U.S.China's defense budget takes up a smaller share of its gross domestic product (GDP) and national fiscal expenditure compared with other major countries, said Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the first annual session of the 13th NPC, at a press conference on Sunday.
Its military spending per capita is also lower than other major countries, Zhang said.
"A large part of the growth of the defense budget is to make up for the low military spending in the past and is mainly used to upgrade equipment and improve the welfare of servicemen and women and the living and training conditions of grassroots troops," he said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the military budget of Ukraine will amount to a record UAH 86 billion ($3.06 bln) in2018.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in 2018 intends to increase spending on the purchase of weapons and military equipment by 34%, to UAH 18.1 billion.
In addition, in 2018 the government will allocate UAH 16.5 billion for the production and modernization of weapons and military equipment. The total defense expenditure of Ukraine totals about 5% of GDP.