China's National People's Congress set to increase defense budget

China's National People's Congress will get underway in Beijing on Sunday. The congress' spokesperson said the country needs to increase its defense budget in order to cope with complicated security issues as a major country.

Wang Chao told reporters on Saturday that the modernization of China's military is not intended as a threat to any country but will be a positive force for safeguarding regional stability and world peace.

Many members of the leadership, including the premier, are likely to be replaced following the launch of President Xi Jinping's third term as Communist Party leader last year.

Premier Li Keqiang is expected to report to congress on the government's activities on the opening day of the event which will be held until March 13.

The focus will be on the country's economic growth target for this year, following the end to its zero-COVID policy, as well as the defense budget amid concerns over Beijing's military buildup in relation to the situation surrounding Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Xi and other members of the Communist Party's top leadership attended the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which is China's legislative advisory body that opened its annual session on Saturday.

The head of the conference, Wang Yang, called for unity under the party.