China's 2017 defense budget will increase by around 7%

This picture taken on an undisclosed date in December 2016 shows Chinese J-15 fighter jets waiting on the deck of the Liaoning aircraft carrier during military drills in the Bohai Sea, off China's northeast coast.

(CNN)A top Chinese official said China will increase its annual defense spending by roughly 7% this year.

Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) annual session, said during a press conference Saturday the increase is in line with China's economic development and defense needs, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Fu said defense spending only accounts for about 1.3% of the country's GDP, Xinhua reported.
In 2016, the budget increased by 7.6%. This represented a slowing in comparison to previous years, when budgets were in the double digits.
In 2009, for instance, the amount was closer to 15%, Xinhua reported.
This comes after President Donald Trump proposed increasing US defense and security spending by $54 billion and after he called on NATO countries to increase their defense spending during his first address to Congress Tuesday.