By Christian Shepherd and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) – China unveiled its largest rise in defense spending in three years on Monday, setting an 8.1 percent growth target compared to 2017, fuelling the country’s ambitious military modernization program amid rising Chinese security concerns. The 2018 defense budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion), according to a report issued at the opening of the country’s annual meeting of parliament. The defense spending figure is closely watched around the world for clues to China’s strategic intentions as it develops new military capabilities, including stealth fighters, aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles.
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