Pentagon Pushes Congress To Ready $842B Defense Budget For Potential Clash With China

The Pentagon on Thursday urged Congress to approve $842 billion in the defense budget to prepare for any potential conflict with China.

What Happened: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in testimony before the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense that the budget is aimed at modernizing the military force in Asia and other parts of the world.

"This is a strategy-driven budget — and one driven by the seriousness of our strategic competition with the People's Republic of China," said Austin.

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Austin said the proposed budget aims to spend more than $9 billion – a 40% increase over last year – to build up new defense technology, such as hypersonics, in the Pacific and defend allies.

Meanwhile, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said China's actions "are moving it down the path toward confrontation and potential conflict with its neighbors and possibly the United States." 

He added that deterring and preparing for war "is extraordinarily expensive, but it's not as expensive as fighting a war. And this budget prevents war and prepares us to fight it if necessary."

Austin argued that amid the growing alliance between two nuclear powers, Xi Jinping's overtures to Vladimir Putin during the Ukraine war are "troubling." 

According to the U.S., although China has yet not provided arms to Russia if it does, "it would prolong the conflict and certainly broaden the conflict potentially not only in the region but globally."

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralLloyd AustinPentagonUS-China Relations
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