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International relations

China's defense budget shows determination to rival US forces

Faster naval and air force buildup stokes concern over new arms race

China aims to turn its military into a first-rate fighting force by mid-century.

BEIJING -- China is stepping up its defense spending at a quicker rate this year, according to a budget unveiled on Monday at the annual National People's Congress. The move suggests President Xi Jinping is intent on building a military that can rival U.S. forces, heightening the risk of a renewed global arms race.

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