Trump signs Dollars 716 bn defence bill with watered-down China measures

Donald Trump Signs $716 Billion Defence Policy Bill

The new budget has seen a 3.5 percent increase over the $692 billion budget from the previous fiscal year, marking the largest military budget in USA history, according to the Pentagon. The bill was named for one of Trump's political critics, the ailing US Senator John McCain of Arizona, but he did not mention McCain's name.

The NDAA also prohibits the use of the funds to reduce USA forces stationed in South Korea to below 22-thousand, unless the secretary of defense certifies that the reduction is in the U.S.' national security interest and will not seriously undermine the security of allies in the region.

The House passed the bill in late July before sending it to the Senate, which passed it earlier in August.

In addition to raising wages for troops - the largest such rise in 10 years, and investing heavily in advanced weapons technologies, such as the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter jet - the act also boosts the capacity of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, in particular to curb the large number of Chinese investments in the US. U.S. intelligence agencies had also voiced concern that ZTE and Huawai were too close to the Chinese government and posed an espionage risk. That measure was seen as targeting China.

Amid ruptured US-Turkey diplomatic ties, the US has put on hold the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara. The mandate to produce a study came after an earlier version proposed to bar the delivery of F-35s to Turkey.

The new law bans the sale of the fifth-generation stealth fighters pending a Pentagon report on the risks Ankara's planned purchase of a S-400 missile defense system from Russian Federation could pose to U.S. security.


The $717 billion act includes several sections on China, some of which violate the One-China policy, a ministry spokesperson said.

In a ceremony at Fort Drum military base in New York, Trump expressed his pleasure for Congress' quick approval of National Defense Authorization Act.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said that the U.S. should treat investors with objectivity and fairness.

Monday's legislation also calls "long-term strategic competition with China" a top priority for the United States, which should improve the defence capabilities of self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as a wayward province.

China urges the United States to abandon Cold War thinking and correctly and objectively view relations, and not implement the act's negative clauses about China, so as to avoid harming cooperation, the ministry added.

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