The Guard of Honor of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) take part in a military parade marking the Belarus Independence Day in Minsk, Belarus, July 3, 2018. [Photo/IC] BEIJING -- China will lower its defense budget growth rate to 7.5 percent in 2019, from last year's 8.1 percent, according to a draft budget report submitted to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Tuesday. The 2019 defense budget will be 1.19 trillion yuan (about $177.61 billion), figures from the report show. The rate marks the fourth straight year for the budgeted growth rate remaining single digit, following five consecutive years of double-digit increases. China's budgeted defense spending growth rate stood at 8.1 percent in 2018, 7 percent in 2017, and 7.6 percent in 2016. The Chinese government has always paid attention to controlling the scale of defense expenditure, said He Lei, former deputy head of the Academy of Military Sciences. Describing China's defense budget increase as reasonable and appropriate, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the legislative session, said the rise aimed to meet the country's demand in safeguarding national security and military reform with Chinese characteristics. China's limited defense spending, which is for safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, poses no threat to any other country, Zhang said at a press conference Monday. The expenditure has been mainly used for advancing defense and military reforms, supporting military training and diverse tasks, modernizing weapons and equipment, and improving welfare of service personnel, according to He, who is also a deputy to the NPC. The defense budget increase is appropriate against the backdrop of profound changes in the country's overall strength, its security environment, and the global strategic situation, He said. China's defense budget takes up a fairly small share of its GDP and national fiscal expenditure compared with other major countries, said He, noting that its military spending per capita and per soldier was also very low. While the national defense spending in a number of major developed countries accounts for more than 2 percent of their GDP, the ratio was only about 1.3 percent for China in 2018. The United States has increased its national defense expenditure for the fiscal year 2019 to 716 billion dollars, about four times the budget of China, the world's second largest economy. China's military spending per capita is only about one-nineteenth of that of the United States. When it comes to whether a country poses a threat to other countries, the key is not that country's national strength and armed forces, but the policies it adopts, said Chen Zhou, research fellow with the Academy of Military Sciences. China has always been following the path of peaceful development and firmly adheres to a defense policy that is defensive in nature, Chen said, noting that China's development would not pose a threat to any other country. He Lei highlighted China's role in providing public security goods for the international community, saying the Chinese military had actively participated in UN peacekeeping missions, maintained security of marine passages, and engaged in international rescue and security cooperation. The growth in China's defense spending is the growth of forces for world peace, he noted. plastic rubber band bracelets
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Chinese director Wen Yan received the "Silver Peacock" award from the Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale on March 31 after her film Angels Wear White won the Best Director Award at the 48th International Film Festival of India.Angels Wear White tells a story about two young girls who are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Through a dual perspective, one from a victim and another from a female witness, the film tries to raise awareness of left-behind children and growing gender issues."In the last 30 years, China has developed very dramatically, economically and in all aspects. But sometimes the price might be families and children. A lot of people have to move to different cities to work in order to have a decent living. So many children are left in their hometowns, without proper care from their parents," said the director in her speech at the embassy of India in Beijing.Wen Yan said the concept of Angels Wear White centers on the myriad problems that exist in society. "The movie does not try to answer questions but rather to raise questions about how a women's body and a woman's worth ought to be viewed in the 21st century," she said, adding that the issue is "a global issue may sound outdated but is still relevant to each one of us today".The film was one of 15 films in the International Competition section which were screened at the festival."Film has a strong public foundation in both China and India. Both countries have excellent directors and outstanding actors," said Bambawale. "I am very pleased to note that Bollywood movies are increasingly loved by Chinese audiences, such as Amir Khan's Dangal, which was one of China's highest box office films in non-Chinese movies last year.""Nowadays Chinese movies are equally popular in India. Personally I enjoyed watching Zhang Yimou's Red Sorghum and some of Chen Kaige's movies as well," the ambassador added.Founded in 1952, the International Film Festival of India is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. It aims to provide a common platform for world cinema to project the excellence of the art form and promote friendship and cooperation among the people of the world.
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