The White House on Wednesday released its budget blueprint for the fiscal year 2018, which significantly increases defense budget by $54 billion, or 10 percent, from the previous year, while proposing to cut the funding for non-military departments.
The proposed $54 billion increase will make US military budget higher than Russia's and Japan's military spending combined, accounting for one-third of China's defense budget. Once approved by the Congress, the US defense spending will reach $603 billion, while non-military federal budget will be only $462 billion.
The US is certainly one of the militarist countries in the world. As the only superpower, what the US emphasizes and values will have a global impact, as it leads the world's attention and resources and in this way writes the rules. Since US military budget already equals the combined amount of the biggest eight countries after it, why is it so radically expanding its military spending? Donald Trump
wrote to the Congress that "without safety, there can be no prosperity."
In order to be "safer," the White House proposes to cut budget for environmental protection by 31.4 percent, agriculture and labor departments each by 20.7 percent, health agencies by 16.2 percent and transportation by 12.7 percent.
In comparison, the increase in China's defense budget is accompanied with an increase for all other major departments. It's easy to imagine a public outcry if China cuts spending on environmental protection, agriculture, labor, health, transportation and public services to fund the military. Not a single expert in China would dare to make such a proposal.
Some analysts predict that Trump's budget proposal may not be approved by the Congress. However, it's worth mentioning that, among the boldest motions of Trump since he took office, boosting military spending met with relatively milder opposition compared with other policies such as the "Muslim ban."
The US society wishes to cling to its half century of global dominance. When Trump calls to allocate more resources for the military rather than for people's livelihood, he has reasons to be optimistic in persuading the US public.
We are living in a world where the "boss" is obsessed with weapons, and this will inevitably affect the way international relations develop.
The US may ignore foreign countries' feelings when it makes a decision. However, Chinese should rethink about this world in view of the White House's military advocacy and the mild response of the US society, and get a better understanding of the international environment China is in. The US military budget has provided an impressive case study to understand the relationship between people's livelihood and national security.