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China boosts defence spending, rattling its neighbours’ nerves

BEIJING: China unveiled its largest rise in defence spending in three years on Monday, setting a target of 8.1 percent growth for this year, fuelling an ambitious military modernisation programme and making its neighbours nervous. The 2018 defence budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion), according to a report issued at the opening of China’s annual meeting of parliament. The defence spending figure is closely watched around the world for clues to China’s strategic intentions as it develops new military…