BEIJING, March 7 Chinese Finance Minister Xiao
Jie said on Tuesday there was no problem with transparency in
the state budget, when asked why no defence spending figure had
been included in the annual budget report as had been the case
in previous years.
The finance ministry released the 2017 budget report on
Sunday, and the omission of the closely watched defence spending
projection sparked questions over transparency.
The state news agency Xinhua, quoting an unidentified
Finance Ministry official, reported on Monday that defence
spending would rise this year by 7 percent to 1.044 trillion
yuan ($151.21 billion).
Xiao was speaking at a news conference during the annual
session of the National People's Congress, or parliament, in
($1 = 6.9045 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Elias Glenn; Writing by John Ruwitch; Editing by