China's Xi ramps up military spending by 12 percent
China announced its biggest rise in military spending in three years on Wednesday, a strong signal from President Xi Jinping that Beijing is not about to back away from its growing assertiveness in Asia, especially in disputed waters.


The government said it would increase the defense budget by 12.2 percent this year to $131 billion, partly to develop more high-tech weapons and to beef up coastal and air defenses. The increase follows a nearly unbroken run of double-digit hikes in the Chinese defense budget for the past two decades. (Reuters)