Trump signs USD 716 bn defense policy to authorize military spending


Mr Trump signed the law at the US Army's Fort Drum base in upstate NY on Monday on his way back to Washington after a 12-day working vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.

Both provisions, among several others in the NDAA, reflect congressional concerns about the president and drew objections from the White House. The new recruits will bring the total strength of the Army to 487,500 soldiers; Navy, 335,400 sailors; 186,100 in the Marine Corps; and 329,100 in the Air Force. It also prohibits USA funds from helping legitimize Russia's control of Crimea.

ZTE, the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the United States, had been dealing with a Commerce Department denial order that prevented American businesses from selling hardware or services to the company.

Trump has previously said he supported the One China Policy, but hinted that it should be linked to other issues in the China-US relationship. He has kept up his criticism of the president from his Arizona home, including calling Trump's performance alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at last month's summit in Helsinki "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory". Mr. Trump, who has feuded with Mr. McCain for most of his presidency, didn't mention him during his remarks. In a signing statement past year, Trump said military officers are "subordinate to the civilian leadership of the president as commander in chief".

It also authorizes a 2.6-percent pay raise for members of the military, boosts the ranks of the USA military services by 15,600 active troops and approves the purchase of 13 new Navy warships and 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.

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The measure authorizes $500 million for the co-development and co-production of missile defense systems with Israel.

The act sets active duty end strength for the Army at 487,500 in fiscal 2019, which begins October 1, 2018.

In addition, the USA defense budget in 2019 would authorize the Pentagon to allocate United States dollars 250 million to provide assistance to Ukraine in the security sphere.

"We will never allow anyone, at any time or in any form, to separate Taiwan from China", Wu said, adding that protests have been lodged with the Pentagon. The defense policy bill also bars the delivery of F-35 jets to fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey amid concerns over Ankara's desire to buy a Russian missile defense system.

Turkey plans to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets in the coming years.