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US: China Top Priority, $715bn Budget to Deter Beijing
By Staff, Agencies
In a new directive, the US military has named China as its number-one “challenge” vowing to lean on allies to confront Beijing after a top defense deputy said future spending will focus heavily on deterring Chinese “aggression.”
War Secretary Lloyd Austin issued the guidance on Wednesday, outlining US military policy toward the People’s Republic after a months-long Pentagon review ordered by the White House in February. The new directive is classified, however, with Austin and other military officials offering scant details on the document.
“The initiatives I am putting forward today are nested inside the larger US government approach to China and will help inform the development of the National Defense Strategy we are working on,” Austin said in a written statement.
In a separate Pentagon press release, which cites Beijing as “the nation’s number one pacing challenge,” senior defense officials provided additional background. One said the directive calls for investment “in America’s unparalleled network of allies and partners” and the bolstering of “deterrence across all domains of warfare.” While the officials noted the guidance seeks to “align the department with the prioritization of China,” they declined to elaborate further.
Even before Wednesday’s directive, President Joe Biden dubbed China a major concern and sought to bolster ties with allies to challenge Beijing, carrying on a similar policy of the previous Donald Trump administration.
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