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Tuesday August 20th, 2019 10:04AM

Pentagon chief focuses on China despite Mideast tensions

By The Associated Press
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Tensions may be high in the Middle East, but the man chosen by President Donald Trump to run the Pentagon is turning his focus to China.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has arrived in Asia on a high-profile weeklong trip that is intended to reinforce that China is the administration's main foreign policy priority.

The trip comes as the U.S. deploys thousands of more troops and military assets to counter Iran in the Middle East, and will test the Pentagon nominee ahead of his expected Senate confirmation hearing.

Shanahan told reporters traveling with him Wednesday that his "top priority" is implementing a national defense strategy that focuses on China's rising military capability.

Trump is expected to formally submit Shanahan's nomination to Capitol Hill in the coming days.

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