Pentagon Sees ‘Chinese Threat’ In US Default

While testifying at a Senate Defense Appropriation hearing, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other senior Pentagon officials warned of the “Chinese threat” in the event of a US default.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other senior Pentagon officials have urged lawmakers to extend the federal borrowing limit, insisting a default on the national debt would be devastating for America’s reputation and “embolden” China.

Testifying at a Senate Defense Appropriation hearing on Thursday, both Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley spoke in support of the White House’s 2024 budget request, warning that a default would deal a major blow to national security. 

“China right now describes us in their open speeches, etc., as a declining power,” Milley said. “Defaulting on the debt would only reinforce that thought and embolden China and increase risk to the United States.”

Arguing that the Pentagon’s $842-billion budget request for next year is “driven by the seriousness of our strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China,” Austin went on to state that a default would carry “substantial risk to our reputation” which could benefit Beijing.

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“What it would mean realistically for us is that we won’t, in some cases, be able to pay our troops with any degree of predictability. And that predictability is really really important for us,” he added. “This would have a real impact on the pockets of our troops and our civilians.”

According to EuroNews, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at an event last Friday in Florence that Ukraine would collapse in days without the West’s military supplies.

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