BEIJING, March 7 (Reuters) - Chinese Finance Minister Xiao Jie said on Tuesday there was no problem with transparency in the state budget, when asked why no defence spending figure had been included in the annual budget report as had been the case in previous years.
The finance ministry released the 2017 budget report on Sunday, and the omission of the closely watched defence spending projection sparked questions over transparency.
The state news agency Xinhua, quoting an unidentified Finance Ministry official, reported on Monday that defence spending would rise this year by 7 percent to 1.044 trillion yuan ($151.21 billion).
Xiao was speaking at a news conference during the annual session of the National People’s Congress, or parliament, in Beijing. ($1 = 6.9045 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Elias Glenn; Writing by John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill)