Updated Feb 8, 2018

U.S. ramps up arms sale pitch in Asia

U.S. arms are on sale at Asia’s largest aerospace and defense event, the Singapore Airshow, this week, per the AP. The U.S. is urging Asian countries to purchase F-35 fighter jets, two of which debuted at the airshow Tuesday.

Why it matters: Beijing and Washington have been accusing one another of a military buildup in the region, and Trump's newly released National Security Strategy prioritized countering China, a “rival” power, by reinforcing the U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Note: The Trend Indicator Value unit is based on known costs of some weapons systems and represents the transfer of military resources rather than financial value; Data: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Big picture: The U.S. already exports more arms per year than any other country, but the Trump administration is expected to ramp up its arms sales efforts abroad by further involving diplomats and Pentagon attachés in sales.

Worth noting: Last year the U.S. sold arms to Vietnam, which disputes China’s claims about territorial control in the South China Sea.

Go deeper: Why the South China Sea is a global flashpoint

Editor’s note: This article’s headline has been changed. It originally read ”U.S. selling arms inside China's zone of influence”

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