The US House Armed Services Committee has unanimously passed an annual £594 billion (US$741 billion) defence legislation on Wednesday. The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) will not become legislation yet, but it shows Washington’s views on China, its global position and its antagonism of the US.
“Is there anybody in this room that does not believe that China is an adversary of the United States, has every plan possible to become a world power at our detriment?” enquired Representative Paul Mitchell, a Republican from Michigan.
“Is there anybody that doesn’t believe that?”
The board, which supervises military procedures approved the bill 56-0 just before midnight after almost 14 hours of discussions.
The legislation features a series of legislative bids from lawmakers of different political backgrounds.
The proposals aim to challenge China on technology, scientific research and defence.
The bill includes a scheme to preserve the country’s rare earth metals supply chain as China leads the industry.
Another bid from lawmakers involves a joint intelligence report between Moscow and Beijing.
Eric Sayers, a former Asia policy adviser on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the committee’s backing of the programme was a “strong indication of the bipartisan energy behind this concept”.
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After half an hour of debate the proposal was approved.
But the bill will potentially be discussed in the full House later this month.
The Senate Armed Services Committee approved its own variant on June 11.
It is has now been sent to the full Senate for deliberation.
The two chambers will finalise their editions before it passing it onto President Trump for authorisation.
On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to issue a threat of banning this year’s defence bill if it involves a directive that US military bases currently named after Confederate officers from the Civil War must be renamed.