Donald Trump blasts 'crazy' arms race with Russia and China – months after HE signed off massive £560bn military spending budget

He tweeted the US, China and Russia would "at some time in the future" begin talks to end what he called a "major and uncontrollable" arms race.

The under-fire President then declared that current US defence spending has now reached "crazy" levels.

The statements marks a dramatic U-turn for the president, who has championed increased spending on the military and in March signed off a colossal spending bill.

Trump okayed a maximum annual budget of $716bn (£560bn) for the Department of Defense alone – the largest hike in military investment in nearly a decade.

At the time, Trump said the spending bill was the "most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in modern history."

The huge hike means the Department of Defense will benefit from an extra $61bn (£47bn) more than last year.

The president claimed he had "no choice but to fund our military because we have to have by far the strongest military in the world."

However, his tone now seems to have changed.

"I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race," he tweeted.

"The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!"

Asked about Trump's tweet, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China was committed to the path of peace.

"We have never participated in any kind of arms race and do not constitute a threat to any country," he told a daily news briefing.

The US military this year put countering China and Russia at the centre of a new national defence strategy.

American military chiefs will withdraw troops from other parts of the world to support the changing priorities.

At the same time, Washington has publicly discussed quitting a landmark nuclear arms control pact with Russia that has been in place since 1987.

Top 10 global military budgets

1) US – $717bn (£560bn)

2) China- $228bn (£177bn)

3) Saudi Arabia- $69bn (£53bn)

4) Russia – $66bn (£51bn)

5) India- $63bn (£49bn)

6) France – $58bn (£45bn)

7) UK – $47bn (£36bn)

8) Japan- $45bn (£35bn)

9) Germany $44bn (£34bn)

10) S. Korea $39bn (£30bn)

Moscow has warned it will respond in kind to restore the military balance if Trump carries through with his threat to quit the INF treaty, a deal that eliminated short- and intermediate-range land-based nukes and conventional missiles held by both countries in Europe.

Without the treaty, some countries fear Washington might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe again and that Russia might move to deploy such missiles in its enclave of Kaliningrad –  turning Europe into a potential nuclear battlefield.

In March, China announced an 8.1 per cent rise in military spending, the biggest rise in three years, fuelling an ambitious military modernisation programme and making its neighbours, particularly Japan and Taiwan, nervous.

Chinese state media has described the increase as proportionate and low, and said that Beijing has not been goaded into an arms race with the United States. It rejected "finger-pointing from the usual suspects."

It said China's defense budget was neither the largest in size, accounting for just one-fourth of the military spending of the United States, nor the fastest growing.

But Beijing's spending figure is closely watched worldwide for clues to China's strategic intentions as it develops new military capabilities, including stealth fighters, aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles.

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