WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Pacific commander is voicing concern over China’s intentions as the Asian power announced its latest double-digit hike in defense spending.
Several lawmakers questioned Adm. Samuel Locklear about U.S. ability to contend with a rising China and sustain a “pivot” to Asia amid growing pressure on the U.S. defense budget.
China announced Wednesday a 12.2 percent increase in military spending to $132 billion — likely a considerable underestimate of actual spending, but still far less than the $600.4 billion the U.S. spent last year.
Locklear noted China’s spending increase and said it’s inevitable its military will rise.
He said the U.S. wants China to provide a positive contribution to regional security but China’s recent activities in its “own backyard” were calling into question how it will proceed.