RPT-China raises 2018 defence spending by 8.1 pct

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BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) - China's 2018 defence spending will rise 8.1 percent from 2017, according to a budget report issued at the opening of the country's annual meeting of parliament.

In remarks prepared for delivery at the parliament's opening session, Premier Li Keqiang said China should make the military "strong as stone". (Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Kim Coghill)