Chinese hostesses pose at Tiananmen square during the opening session of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, in Beijing on March 5, 2018. AFP / FRED DUFOUR
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China's government pledged Monday to deliver robust growth, pursue advanced technology and boost military spending while urging the public to embrace President Xi Jinping's rule as its ceremonial legislature prepared for changes to allow Xi to stay in power indefinitely.In a nearly two-hour speech to the legislature, Premier Li Keqiang did not mention the scrapping of term limits but emphasized the primacy of Xi and the ruling Communist Party he leads in all aspects of Chinese life.The 64-year-old Xi has appointed himself to head bodies that oversee national security, finance, economic reform and other functions, effectively sidelining Li, the party's No. 2 figure.China's military spending, already the world's second-highest behind the United States, will rise 8.1 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($173 billion) as Beijing prepares to launch its second aircraft carrier and develop stealth fighters and advanced missiles.
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