China has been named number-one challenge of the U.S. military in a new directive which vows to lean on allies to confront Beijing after Pentagon showed with the new budget plans that future spending will focus heavily on deterring Chinese aggression.
The new directive, issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday, is classified but it has been told that it outlines U.S. military policy toward China after a months-long Pentagon review ordered by the White House in February.
He underlined in his written statement that the initiatives that has been put forward are nested inside the larger U.S. government approach to China and will help inform the development of the National Defense Strategy they’re working, emphasizing how proud he is of the work put forth by the China Task Force.
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks underscored during a virtual event hosted by the hawkish Center for a New American Security (CNAS) that Pentagon’s focus on Beijing on Tuesday, outlining how a large portion of the department’s $715 billion budget request for 2022 would be devoted to confronting China.
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command previously requested a $27 billion over the next five years to deter Beijing, also calling for the construction of a sprawling missile network off China’s east coast.
Although President Joe Biden vowed to ditch many of Trump’s policies when he took office, his administration has struggled to distinguish itself from its predecessor when it comes to China while he personally 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.
Even Hicks highlighted the similarities, noting that Biden’s approach has “threads of continuity” with Trump’s 2018 National Defense Strategy which focused on “great power competition” with China and Russia.