China announces 7.6-pct defense budget rise, lowest in six years

China on Saturday announced the country’s lowest defense budget increase in six years in the wake of rising economic headwinds and last year’s massive drawdown of service people.

According to a budget report to the national legislature annual session, the government plans to raise the 2016 defense budget by 7.6 percent to 954 billion yuan (about 146 billion U.S. dollars).

The increase last year was 10.1 percent.

The fresh raise will make the world’s second largest economy the second largest defense spender, both next to the United States which, in the exact words of U.S. President Barack Obama, spends more on military “than the next eight nations combined.”

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