Fu Yang, spokeswoman for China’s annual parliament session the National People’s Congress , gave the “rough” figure and said it was in line with overall spending growth. A formal announcement will be made on Thursday when the NPC opens. China has seen several years of double-digit defence spending increases. It is the world’s second-highest military spender, but remains far behind the US. Last year, China’s defence spending rose 12.2% to $132bn (£86bn). In comparison, for the fiscal year 2016 US President Barack Obama has requested a budget of $586bn. China says the spending is required to modernise the People’s Liberation Army – the world’s largest standing military.