WASHINGTON (ViaNews) – New national security policy in the United States takes aim at Russia and China as “revisionist” powers that may only attack American security, according to The Hill.

President Donald Trump unveiled his “America First” plan – a 55-page document – over the last weekend. During a speech outlining the new strategy, Trump said America is “engaged in a new era of competition,” in terms of security and prosperity.

“We will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries,” the president said of Moscow and Beijing, if it “protects our national interest.”

Changes to this document include the elimination of climate change as a threat to national security, as was set in the Obama administration’s policy, and any mention of democracy as a goal abroad.

The release of the document comes at a time when tensions – specifically in Asia – reach a high point.

On Tuesday, South Korean president Moon Jae-in said in an interview with NBC News that South Korea aims to scale back military exercises it has with the United States as the peninsula prepares for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – approximately 50 miles from the demilitarized zone with North Korea.

“It is possible for South Korea and the U.S. to review the possibility of postponing the exercises,” Moon said, in the interview. “I’ve made such a suggestion to the U.S., and the U.S. is currently reviewing it. However, all this depends on how North Korea behaves.”

That review comes a month after North Korea completed another test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

On Tuesday, Japan’s government approved the purchase of a U.S.-made land-based missile defense system to combat any threats from North Korea, reported by The Hill.

“North Korea’s nuclear missile development poses a new level of threat to Japan and as we have done in the past we will ensure that we are able to defend ourselves with a drastic improvement in ballistic missile defense,” a statement issued by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet said, according to multiple reports.

The two Aegis Ashore batteries will cost approximately $2 billion and will be operational no earlier than 2023. The batteries will complement the Patriot missile batteries Japan already has as well as the four warships with Aegis capabilities.

Japan chose the Aegis Ashore over the Thermal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD system, because of the cost. A THAAD system was recently deployed in South Korea which drew criticism from China which views the radar system “a threat to its security,” according to The Hill.

In response to Trump’s national security plan, the Chinese government called it a “victory of hardliners” in a report from official Xinhua News Agency.

“We urge the United States to stop deliberately distorting China’s strategic intentions and abandon a Cold War mentality,” said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying. “Otherwise it will injure others and damage itself.”

In a statement from the Chinese embassy in Washington, officials said it was “selfish to put your national interest above other countries’ interest and the mutual interest of the international community.”

“On the basis of mutual respect, China is willing to exist peacefully with other countries including the United States. But, the U.S. ought to adapt to and accept China’s development,” the statement said.

The U.S. concern stems from the recent increase in military spending by the Chinese government. At the center of defense policy in China has been Taiwan. The tensions between Beijing and the island nation have grown since recently-elected Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen refused to endorse the notion that Taiwan is part of China.

Matthew Clark
Politics Correspondent for ViaNews. Journalist with 25 years experience. Awarded for investigative, sports, business and hard news journalism as well as leading teams of journalists to collaborative awards. Winner of a gold medal for local news coverage from the American Association of Business Publications. Journalist contact: matthewclark@vianewsagency.com