A day after President Obama submitted a budget to Congress that reflects cutbacks in defense spending, China announced plans to increase military funding by 12.2 percent.
The divergent approaches come as the U.S. scales back its presence in Afghanistan and amid the administration’s strategic “pivot” from the Middle East to Asia. Meanwhile, China is increasing tensions with Japan over disputed, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea…
...“China is increasing defense spending precisely because it wants to be a strategic counterweight to the U.S. and its allies in the region,” said William Martel, associate professor of international security studies at [The Fletcher School,] Tufts University. He said this move is intended to put pressure on countries like Japan and South Korea to make them question U.S. commitment to the area.
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