Senate committee unveils $740 billion defense bill, targets China

Senate committee unveils $740 billion defense bill, targets China
# 12 June 2020 02:25 (UTC +04:00)

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday unveiled its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a $740 billion bill setting policy for the Defense Department on everything from troop salaries and equipment purchases to great power competition with China, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The 2021 bill also wades into current controversies revolving around racial issues highlighted by protests after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, an African American. 

The proposed NDAA, which is several steps from becoming law, backs renaming bases named after Confederate generals and bars the use of the military against peaceful protests. 

This year’s bill, like others in recent years, includes provisions focused on China, including creating the “Pacific Deterrence Initiative,” a nearly $7 billion fund focused on competition in the Indo-Pacific. 

It also includes measures to strengthen the U.S. supply chain, after the coronavirus crisis exposed companies’ dependence on China, and extends limitations on integrating missile defense systems with those of China. 

The NDAA authorizes $44 million for vaccine and biotechnology research, another response to the pandemic. 

It requires new reports on risks posed by the use of technology from Huawei, a Chinese company regarded in Washington as a security threat but whose 5G networking products are widely used around the world. 

The bill also authorized $9.1 billion for 95 F-35 aircraft, which are made by Lockheed Martin Corp. And it authorized the Air Force to modify six F-35s originally sold to Turkey. They were never delivered due to a disagreement over Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.