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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress


Shirley A. Kan
Specialist in Asian Security Affairs

This CRS report, updated as warranted, discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration re-engaged with the top PRC leadership, including China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Renewed military exchanges with the PLA have not regained the closeness reached in the 1980s, when U.S.-PRC strategic cooperation against the Soviet Union included U.S. arms sales to China. Improvements and deteriorations in overall bilateral relations have affected military contacts, which were close in 1997-1998 and 2000, but marred by the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, mistaken NATO bombing of a PRC embassy in 1999, the EP- 3 aircraft collision crisis in 2001, and aggressive naval confrontations (including in 2009).

Issues for Congress include whether the Obama Administration has complied with legislation overseeing dealings with the PLA and pursued contacts with the PLA that advance a prioritized set of U.S. security interests, especially the operational safety of U.S. military personnel. Oversight legislation includes the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY1990-FY1991 (P.L. 101-246) and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2000 (P.L. 106-65). Skeptics and proponents of military exchanges with the PRC have debated whether the contacts have achieved results in U.S. objectives and whether the contacts have contributed to the PLA’s warfighting capabilities that might harm U.S. security interests. Some have argued about whether the value that U.S. officials place on the contacts overly extends leverage to the PLA. Some believe talks can serve U.S. interests that include conflict avoidance/crisis management; militarycivilian coordination; transparency and reciprocity; tension reduction over Taiwan; weapons nonproliferation; nuclear/missile/space/cyber talks; counterterrorism; and POW/MIA accounting.

In January 2010, the PLA criticized U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and claimed to “suspend” many U.S.-PRC military contacts. Then, in 2011, the PLA hosted Secretary Gates in January, and the PLA Chief of General Staff visited in May. Admiral Mike Mullen visited China on July 9-13, 2011, the first visit by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2007. The PLA postponed some exchanges after the President notified Congress of arms sales to Taiwan in September 2011.

Policymakers could review the approach to mil-to-mil contacts, given concerns about crises. U.S. officials have faced challenges in cooperation from the PLA. The PLA has tried to use its suspensions of exchanges while blaming U.S. “obstacles” (including arms sales to Taiwan, legal restrictions on contacts, and the Pentagon’s reports to Congress on the PLA). The PRC’s harassment of U.S. surveillance ships (in 2009) and increasing assertiveness in maritime areas have shown the limits to mil-to-mil talks and PLA restraint. Still, at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in July 2009, President Obama called for military contacts to diminish disputes with China. The NDAA for FY2010 (P.L. 111-84) amended P.L. 106-65 for the annual report on PRC military power to expand the focus to security developments involving the PRC, add cooperative elements, and fold in another report on mil-to-mil contacts. However, the Administration was late in submitting this report in 2010 and in 2011 (not until August). On May 26, 2011, the House passed H.R. 1540, the FY2012 NDAA, with sections relevant to this report and defense procurement. On June 22, the Senate Armed Services Committee reported S. 1253, without such language.



Date of Report: November
4, 2011
Number of Pages: 7
3
Order Number: RL32
496
Price: $29.95

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues



Shirley A. Kan
Specialist in Asian Security Affairs

Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national interest in reducing the role of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. Recipients of China’s technology reportedly include Pakistan and countries said by the State Department to have supported terrorism, such as Iran. This CRS Report, updated as warranted, discusses the security problem of China’s role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response since the mid- 1990s. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. and other foreign concerns about its role in weapons proliferation. Nonetheless, supplies from China have aggravated trends that result in ambiguous technical aid, more indigenous capabilities, longer-range missiles, and secondary (retransferred) proliferation. According to unclassified intelligence reports submitted as required to Congress, China has been a “key supplier” of technology, particularly PRC entities providing nuclear and missile-related technology to Pakistan and missile-related technology to Iran.

Policy approaches in seeking PRC cooperation have concerned summits, sanctions, and satellite exports. On November 21, 2000, the Clinton Administration agreed to waive missile proliferation sanctions, resume processing licenses to export satellites to China, and discuss an extension of the bilateral space launch agreement, in return for another PRC promise on missile nonproliferation. However, PRC proliferation activities have continued to raise questions about China’s commitment to nonproliferation and the need for U.S. sanctions. The Bush Administration imposed sanctions on 20 occasions on various PRC “entities” (including state-owned entities) for troublesome transfers related to missiles and chemical weapons to Pakistan, Iran, or perhaps another country, including repeated sanctions on some “serial proliferators.” Among those sanctions, in September 2001, the Administration imposed missile proliferation sanctions that effectively denied satellite exports, after a PRC company transferred technology to Pakistan, despite the promise of 2000. In September 2003, the State Department imposed additional sanctions on NORINCO, a defense industrial entity, effectively denying satellite exports to China. However, for six times, the State Department waived this sanction for the ban on imports of other PRC government products related to missiles, space systems, electronics, and military aircraft, and issued a permanent waiver in 2007. Since 2009, the Obama Administration has imposed sanctions on six occasions on multiple PRC entities for missile or other weapon proliferation.

Skeptics question whether China’s cooperation in weapons nonproliferation warrants the U.S. pursuit of closer ties, even as sanctions were required against PRC technology transfers. Some criticize the imposition of U.S. sanctions targeting PRC “entities” but not the government. Others doubt the effectiveness of any stress on sanctions over diplomacy. Meanwhile, in 2002-2008, the U.S. approach relied on China’s influence on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons. Beijing hosted the “Six-Party Talks” (last held in December 2008) with limited results. China’s approach evolved to vote for some U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran. Some still called for engaging more with Beijing to use its leverage against Pyongyang and Tehran. However, North Korea’s second nuclear test in 2009 and military attacks against South Korea in 2010 prompted greater debate about the value of China’s roles. After much diplomacy, the PRC voted in June 2009 for UNSC Resolution 1874 to expand sanctions previously imposed under Resolution 1718 in 2006 against North Korea and voted in June 2010 for UNSC Resolution 1929 for the fourth set of sanctions against Iran. Also, concerns increased that China expanded nuclear cooperation with Pakistan and could capitalize in oil/gas energy deals in Iran as others enforce unilateral sanctions. Relevant legislation includes sanctions against Iran in CISADA (P.L. 111-195), H.R. 1905, H.R. 2105, and H.R. 1540.



Date of Report: November 9, 2011
Number of Pages: 82
Order Number: RL31555
Price: $29.95

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

U.S. Assistance Programs in China

Thomas Lum
Specialist in Asian Affairs

This report examines U.S. foreign assistance activities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programming, foreign operations appropriations, policy history, and legislative background. International programs supported by U.S. departments and agencies other than the Department of State and USAID are not covered in this report.

U.S. foreign assistance efforts in the PRC aim to promote human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and environmental conservation in China and Tibet and to support Tibetan livelihoods and culture. The United States Congress has played a leading role in initiating programs and determining funding levels for these objectives. Congressionally mandated rule of law, civil society, public participation, and related programs together constitute an important component of U.S. human rights policy towards China. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States is the largest provider of “government and civil society” programming among major bilateral foreign aid donors.

During the past decade, the U.S. Department of State and USAID have administered a growing number and range of programs in China. Between 2001 and 2010, the United States government authorized or made available nearly $275 million for Department of State foreign assistance efforts in the PRC, of which $229 million was devoted to human rights, democracy, rule of law, and related activities, Tibetan communities, and the environment. U.S. program areas include the following: promoting the rule of law, civil society, and democratic norms and institutions; training legal professionals; building the capacity of judicial institutions; reforming the criminal justice system; supporting sustainable livelihoods and cultural preservation in Tibetan communities; protecting the environment; and improving the prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS in China. The direct recipients of State Department and USAID grants have been predominantly U.S.-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and universities. Some Chinese NGOs, universities, and government entities have participated in, collaborated with, or indirectly benefited from U.S. programs and foreign aid grantees.

Some policy analysts argue that U.S. democracy, rule of law, and related programs have had little effect in China due to political constraints and restrictions on civil society imposed by the PRC government. Furthermore, some policy makers contend that the United States government should not provide assistance to a country, like China, that has significant foreign aid resources of its own. Other observers argue that U.S. assistance activities in China have helped to build social and legal foundations for political change and bolster reform-minded officials in the PRC government. Some experts also propound that U.S. programs have nurtured relationships among governmental and non-governmental actors and educational institutions in the United States and the PRC, which have helped to develop common understandings about democratic norms and principles.



Date of Report: November
10, 2011
Number of Pages:
16
Order Number: RS2
2663
Price: $29.95

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Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments

Shirley A. Kan
Specialist in Asian Security Affairs

Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam to increase U.S. presence, deterrence, and power projection for possible responses to crises and disasters, counterterrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia. Since 2006, three joint exercises based at Guam called “Valiant Shield” have boosted U.S. military readiness in the Asian-Pacific region. The defense buildup on Guam has been moderate. China still has concerns about Guam’s buildup, suspecting it to be directed against China. There has been concern that China and North Korea could target Guam with missiles. Still, Guam’s role increased in engaging with China’s military.

In 2006, the United States and Japan agreed on a “Roadmap” to strengthen their alliance, including a buildup on Guam to cost $10.3 billion, with Japan contributing 60%. Primary goals were to start the related construction on Guam by 2010 and to complete relocation of about 8,000 marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2014. In Tokyo on February 17, 2009, the Secretary of State signed the bilateral “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents From Okinawa to Guam” that reaffirmed the “Roadmap” of May 1, 2006. The two governments agreed that of the estimated $10.27 billion cost of the facilities and infrastructure development for the relocation, Japan will provide $6.09 billion, including up to $2.8 billion in direct cash contributions (in FY2008 dollars). The United States committed to fund $3.18 billion plus $1 billion for a road for a total of $4.18 billion.

However, completion of the marines’ relocation by 2014 would be unlikely, and the realignment involves more than moving 8,000 marines to Guam. In September 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) became the ruling party. This political change raised uncertainty as Japan sought to re-negotiate the agreement, even while the United States sought its implementation. The dispute over the location on Okinawa of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) to replace the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma raised implications for the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam. In January 2010, Japan promised to decide by May on the location of the FRF. Then, North Korea’s attack on South Korea’s naval ship Cheonan in March, and China’s deployment of its Navy near Okinawa and confrontation with Japan’s forces in April, catalyzed Japan to resolve the dispute in favor of stronger deterrence in alliance with the United States. On May 28, the Secretaries of Defense and State and their counterparts in Japan issued a “2+2” Joint Statement, in which they reaffirmed the 2006 Roadmap and the 2009 Agreement. In September 2010, the Navy and Army issued a Record of Decision that deferred some decisions for Guam. Nonetheless, despite the dispute over the FRF on Okinawa, Japan has funded in its defense budgets for direct contributions as well as loans for the marines’ relocation to Guam.

In 2011, some Members, including Senator Jim Webb and Guam’s Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, have urged more attention to concerns that include expanded costs and the delay in the realignment as the U.S military presence and readiness remain critical. On May 11, 2011, Senators Carl Levin, John McCain, and Jim Webb called for a re-examination of plans to restructure military forces in South Korea, Japan, and Guam. Major legislation includes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2012, H.R. 1540 and S. 1253, which contain provisions related to the realignment on Guam. Updated as warranted, this CRS Report discusses major developments and policy issues related to the defense buildup. (Also see CRS Report R41939, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2012 Appropriations.)



Date of Report: November
7, 2011
Number of Pages:
23
Order Number: RS2
2570
Price: $29.95

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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings in Honolulu: A Preview


Michael F. Martin
Specialist in Asian Affairs

The United States will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC’s) 19th Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu, HI, on November 12 & 13, 2011. APEC was founded in 1989 to facilitate trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region. During the four days prior to the Economic Leaders’ Meeting, APEC will hold the fourth Senior Officials Meeting for 2011, the Finance Ministers Meeting, and the APEC Ministerial Meeting. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, and U.S Trade Representative Ron Kirk are expected to attend their respective meetings. These meetings will culminate a year in which the United States hosted dozens of meetings.

Although the United States was among APEC’s founding members, some U.S. officials have been frustrated with APEC’s approach to trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. From its inception, APEC has used a consensus-based, non-binding approach in which its members unilaterally adopt non-discriminatory liberalization and facilitation measures. In much of its trade policy, the U.S. government has generally utilized an approach based on negotiated binding agreements applicable only to the parties to the agreement. As such, there has been frequent discussion about APEC’s proper role in U.S. trade policy.

This discussion remains relevant in 2011 as three other multilateral fora have become increasingly important to the United States. The United States, along with eight other APEC members, is attempting to negotiate a comprehensive regional trade agreement—commonly referred to as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—that the Obama Administration has promoted as a model free trade agreement for the 21st century. In addition, the 6th East Asia Summit (EAS), to be held in Bali six days after the APEC Leaders’ Meeting, will be the first at which the United States will participate as a full member. Reflecting the growing importance the U.S. government places on relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), President Obama is scheduled to attend the 3rd U.S.-ASEAN Summit, also in Bali, the day before the EAS Summit. The rising prominence of other Asian or Asia-Pacific events has also brought into question APEC’s relevance and the necessity of the President’s attendance at the annual Leaders’ Meeting.

As host in 2011, the United States chose three main themes for the year—economic growth, green development, and cooperation and convergence of trade regulations. In addition, it is expected that there will be one or more major announcements regarding progress on the TPP negotiations during the Economic Leaders’ Meeting. For more than a year, the Obama Administration has stated that it hopes substantial progress will be made on the TPP agreement in time for the APEC meetings in Honolulu. More recently, Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has indicated that his country is contemplating joining the TPP negotiations.

Congressional interest in APEC has generally focused on three issues—implications for U.S. trade policy in general, potential effects on relations with China, and budgetary matters. The voluntary unilateral trade and investment measures offered or agreed to by the United States at the annual Economic Leaders’ Meetings may have implications for U.S. trade laws and regulations, as well as for the federal budget. For example, in the 112th Congress H.R. 2042 is intended to help advance the U.S. commitment in 2007 to join the APEC Business Travel Card program. In addition, U.S. initiatives under the auspices of APEC may impact relations with China. Finally, as an APEC member, the United States contributes to the organization’s operational budget, and as host for 2011, the United States was responsible for much of the funding for the APEC meetings held throughout the year.



Date of Report: October 25, 2011
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: R42071
Price: $29.95

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