OREANDA-NEWSThe United States considers China the most significant potential threat to itself, with Russia in second place. This was stated by US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, speaking in Brussels at the German Marshall Fund in anticipation of the meeting of NATO defense ministers. To counter Moscow and Beijing, he called on European countries to spend more on defense and maximize their defense market for the US defense industry.

"In setting strategic priorities, China is in the first place for the United States in the list of potential threats, Russia in second", he said. "Beijing and Moscow want to rebuild the world to fit their needs, they undermine the sovereignty of weak nations through political manipulation and economic pressure", the Pentagon chief said. 

Esper also called on EU countries to review the principle of priority provision of defense orders in their countries to European companies.He stressed that "this market must be open so that EU countries can acquire the best technology". Since 2018, Washington has been trying to put pressure on Brussels to stop the introduction of new European standards for regulating the defense market in order to guarantee the maximum volume of military orders for American companies.