China’s rise in military spending expected to stoke unease in region

The gap between China’s military and its regional counterparts is widening, with Beijing announcing a 6.8 per cent rise in defence spending on Friday that observers say will stoke concerns among its neighbours.While the budget increase is just 0.2 of a percentage point more than last year’s growth, it is the biggest expansion in military spending in Asia.The finance ministry said funding for the military would reach 1.355 trillion yuan (US$209 billion) in 2021, while Premier Li Keqiang told the…