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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues


Shirley A. Kan
Specialist in Asian Security Affairs

Wayne M. Morrison
Specialist in Asian Trade and Finance


The purpose and scope of this CRS report is to provide a succinct overview with analysis of the issues in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. This report will be updated as warranted. Taiwan formally calls itself the sovereign Republic of China (ROC), tracing its political lineage to the ROC set up after the revolution in 1911 in China. The ROC government retreated to Taipei in 1949. The United States recognized the ROC until the end of 1978 and has maintained a non-diplomatic relationship with Taiwan after recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing in 1979. The State Department claims an “unofficial” U.S. relationship with Taiwan, despite official contacts that include arms sales. The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979, P.L. 96-8, has governed policy in the absence of a diplomatic relationship or a defense treaty. Other key statements that guide policy are the three U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqu├ęs of 1972, 1979, and 1982; as well as the “Six Assurances” of 1982. (See also CRS Report RL30341, China/Taiwan: Evolution of the “One China” Policy—Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei.)

For decades, Taiwan has been of significant security, economic, and political interest to the United States. In 2011, Taiwan was the 10th-largest U.S. trading partner and the 6th-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports. Taiwan is a major innovator of information technology (IT) products. Ties or tension across the Taiwan Strait affect international security (with potential U.S. intervention), the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and U.S.-PRC cooperation. While the United States does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan, it is a significant autonomous actor in the world. Today, 23 countries including the Vatican have diplomatic relations with Taiwan as the ROC. Taiwan’s 23 million people enjoy self-governance with free elections. After Taiwan’s presidential election in 2008, the United States congratulated Taiwan as a “beacon of democracy.” Taiwan’s democracy has allowed its people a greater say in their status, given competing party politics about Taiwan’s national political identity and priorities. Taiwan held presidential and legislative elections on January 14, 2012. Kuomintang (KMT) President Ma Ying-jeou won re-election against the candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Since Taiwan and the PRC resumed their quasi-official dialogue in 2008 under President Ma and cross-strait tension decreased, some have stressed concerns about steps seen as needed to be taken by the United States and by Taiwan to strengthen their relationship. Another approach has viewed closer cross-strait engagement as allowing U.S. attention to shift to expand cooperation with a rising China, which opposes U.S. arms sales and other dealings with Taiwan. In any case, Washington and Taipei have put more efforts into their respective relations with Beijing, while contending that they have pursued a positive, parallel U.S.-Taiwan relationship.

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou seeks U.S. support for his policies, including Taiwan’s inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Other policy issues concern whether to approve arms sales, reach an extradition treaty, resume Cabinet-level visits, and resume trade talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The United States has concerns about Taiwan’s restrictions on U.S. beef, even as Taiwan seeks support in international organizations.

Legislation in the 112th Congress include H.Con.Res. 39, H.Con.Res. 77, H.Con.Res. 122, H.R. 2583, H.R. 2918, H.R. 2992, H.R. 4310, H.R. 5902, H.Res. 616, S. 1539, S. 1545, and S.Con.Res. 17. Other congressional actions have focused on arms sales, particularly the issue of whether to sell F-16C/D fighters. (See CRS Report RL30957, Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990.)



Date of Report: August 16, 2012
Number of Pages: 28
Order Number: R41952
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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 potential 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 Realignment Roadmap to strengthen their alliance, including a buildup on Guam to cost $10.3 billion, with Japan contributing 60%. 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.

However, completion of the marines’ relocation by 2014 would be unlikely, and the original realignment actually would have involved 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. Then, North Korea’s attack on South Korea’s naval ship Cheonan in March 2010, 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, Japan has budgeted for direct contributions and loans for the marines’ relocation to Guam.

By 2011, some Members urged attention to concerns that included Japan’s impasse, expanded costs, and the delay in the realignment even 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 review of plans to restructure military forces in South Korea, Japan, and Guam. Meanwhile, President Obama issued in January 2012 a new strategy of “rebalancing” priorities more to the Pacific (in what some call a “pivot” to the Pacific). Finally, on February 8, the United States and Japan agreed to “adjust” the Roadmap and separate the move of marines from the plan for the FRF, in order to make progress separately. A U.S.-Japan Joint Statement of April 2012 specified that out of about 9,000 marines to be relocated from Okinawa, about 5,000 marines would move to Guam. Out of the new estimated cost of $8.6 billion, Japan would contribute $3.1 billion. On July 24, the Defense Secretary submitted to Congress a required independent assessment on the posture in the Pacific. Legislation includes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013 (H.R. 4310; S. 3254). Updated as warranted, this CRS Report discusses major developments and policy issues related to the defense buildup.



Date of Report: August 16, 2012
Number of Pages: 28
Order Number: RS22570
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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 maritime 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 part of 2010 and 2011, 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. In May 2012, PLA General Liang Guanglie visited as the first PRC Defense Minister to do so since 2003. The PACOM Commander visited in June.

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 U.S. military seeks to expand cooperation with the PLA. 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, 2011, and 2012. Enacted as P.L. 112-81 on December 31, 2011, the FY2012 NDAA required reporting on cyber threats but did not require a change back to the original title, while adding a requirement for a report from the Defense Secretary before any waiver of a ban on defense procurement from PLA companies. H.R. 4310 and S. 3254, NDAA for FY2013, would strengthen the annual report on military and security challenges and mil-to-mil engagement.



Date of Report: August 8, 2012
Number of Pages: 75
Order Number: RL32496
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Friday, August 10, 2012

U.S.-China Relations: Policy Issues


Susan V. Lawrence
Specialist in Asian Affairs

David MacDonald
Research Associate


Congress faces important questions about what sort of relationship the United States should have with China and how the United States should respond to China’s “rise.” After 30 years of fastpaced economic growth, China’s economy is now the second largest in the world after the United States. With economic success, China has developed significant global strategic clout. It is also engaged in an ambitious military modernization drive, including efforts to develop extendedrange power projection capabilities and such advanced weapons as a “carrier killer” anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). At home, it continues to suppress all perceived challenges to the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described as “uncharted territory” the U.S. attempt “to work with a rising power”—China—“to foster its rise as an active contributor to global security, stability and prosperity while also sustaining and securing American leadership in a changing world.” In previous eras, the rise of new powers produced rivalry and conflict. Clinton has argued that the United States and China must find “a new answer to the ancient question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet” because, “Interdependence means that one of us cannot succeed unless the other does as well.” The Obama Administration has repeatedly assured China that the United States “welcomes a strong, prosperous and successful China that plays a greater role in world affairs,” and does not seek to prevent China’s re-emergence as a great power.

Washington has wrestled, however, with how to engage China on issues affecting stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region. Issues of concern for Washington include China’s military modernization program, its desire to regulate U.S. military operations in the “Exclusive Economic Zone” off its coast, its assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and its continuing threat to use force to bring Taiwan under its control. The United States has rolled out plans for a strategic rebalancing toward the Asia Pacific, but with U.S.-China military-to-military ties fragile, it has struggled to convince Beijing that the rebalancing is not intended to contain China. The two countries have cooperated, with mixed results, to address nuclear proliferation concerns related to Iran and North Korea.

While working with China to revive the global economy, the United States has also wrestled with how to persuade China to address economic policies the United States sees as denying a level playing field to U.S. firms trading with and operating in China. Such economic policies include China’s “indigenous innovation” industrial policies, its weak protections for intellectual property rights, and its currency policy. The United States has differed with China over approaches to combating climate change, while cooperating with China in the development of clean energy technologies. Human rights remains one of the thorniest areas of the relationship, with the United States pressing China to ease restrictions on freedom of speech, internet freedom, religious and ethnic minorities, and labor rights, and China’s leaders suspicious that the United States’ real goal is to end Communist Party rule.

This report opens with an overview of the U.S.-China relationship and Obama Administration policy toward China, followed by a review of recent developments in the relationship. A summary of major policy issues in the relationship follows. Throughout, this report directs the reader to other CRS reports for more detailed information about individual topics. This report will be updated periodically.



Date of Report: August 2, 2012
Number of Pages: 45
Order Number: R41108
Price: $29.95

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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 potential 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 Realignment Roadmap to strengthen their alliance, including a buildup on Guam to cost $10.3 billion, with Japan contributing 60%. 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.

However, completion of the marines’ relocation by 2014 would be unlikely, and the original realignment actually would have involved 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. Then, North Korea’s attack on South Korea’s naval ship Cheonan in March 2010, 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, Japan has budgeted for direct contributions and loans for the marines’ relocation to Guam.

By 2011, some Members urged attention to concerns that included Japan’s impasse, expanded costs, and the delay in the realignment even 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 review of plans to restructure military forces in South Korea, Japan, and Guam. Meanwhile, President Obama issued in January 2012 a new strategy of “rebalancing” priorities more to the Pacific (in what some call a “pivot” to the Pacific). Finally, on February 8, the United States and Japan agreed to “adjust” the Roadmap and separate the move of marines from the plan for the FRF, in order to make progress separately. A U.S.-Japan Joint Statement of April 2012 specified that out of about 9,000 marines to be relocated from Okinawa, about 5,000 marines would move to Guam. Out of the new estimated cost of $8.6 billion, Japan reportedly could contribute $3.1 billion. Legislation includes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013 (H.R. 4310; S. 3254). Updated as warranted, this CRS Report discusses major developments and policy issues related to the defense buildup.



Date of Report: July 18, 2012
Number of Pages: 26
Order Number: RS22570
Price: $29.95

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