Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan told a House hearing on Wednesday that countering the threat posed by China is one of the Pentagon’s highest priorities.
In one of the most candid assessments by any senior U.S. government official in years, Mr. Shanahan identified Beijing’s aggressive military buildup, systematic theft of technology, subversion of the rules-based international order and coercive global activities as key worries.
Over the past 20 years, Chinese military spending grew from $20 billion annually to $170 billion in 2018 with actual spending even higher. The levels are approaching those of the United States, he said.
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