China's military spending is transparent and without concealed items, Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the third session of the 13th National People's Congress, said on Thursday night.
"Since 2007, China has reported its military spending to the United Nations each year. Everything, from where the money comes from, to how it is used, is accounted for," he said at a news conference. "So there is no such thing as 'hidden' military spending."
China's defense policy is defensive in nature and its defense spending is proportionate and restrained in terms of total size, per capita expenditure and proportion of GDP, he said.
The proportion of defense spending in the country's annual GDP has been kept at about 1.3 percent for many years, much lower than the world average rate of 2.6 percent, Zhang said.
"Compared with the world's largest spender on military affairs, the money China used for national defense in 2019 was only one quarter of that country's expenditure," he said. "When it comes to per capita terms, ours was one 17th of theirs."
China raised its defense budget by 7.5 percent in the 2019 fiscal year to nearly 1.19 trillion yuan ($177 billion), up from about 1.11 trillion yuan in fiscal 2018.