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UPDATE: Beijing denounces measures targeting China in $716B US defense bill

U.S. President Donald Trump on Aug. 13 signed an annual defense policy bill that authorizes military spending of $716 billion for fiscal year 2019.

Some lawmakers had sought to use the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, to reinstate tougher sanctions on Chinese firms including ZTE Corp. But last month U.S. House and Senate negotiators removed a provision from the bill that would have maintained tougher penalties on ZTE after the trade ban on the Chinese telecom company was lifted.

"We must protect those who protect us," Trump said in a statement. "When our service members are in uniform, it is our obligation to ensure that they have the finest equipment, the finest training, care, and resources — better than any military on earth."

The NDAA also strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews proposals on national security grounds.

In a statement Aug.14, China's foreign ministry said it was dissatisfied with the "negative content related to China" found in the NDAA, which was passed despite China's strong objections, Reuters reported. It urged the U.S. not to implement the act's negative clauses about China to avoid hurting cooperation between the two countries.

China's commerce ministry in a separate statement said: "The U.S. should treat Chinese investors objectively and fairly and avoid national security censorship as an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and American companies."