China announced Monday that it will boost its defense budget 8.1 percent this year from 2017, a larger increase than in the two previous years as leader Xi Jinping seeks to turn the country's military into a "world-class" force that can venture farther from its shores.

Beijing will spend 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion) on its military, according to the budget, which was released before the opening session of the annual National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament, state-run media said.

The figure compares with a 7 percent increase last year and 7.6 percent in 2016, which marked the first time in six years that growth in spending was not in double figures.