U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress [March 19, 2009]   [open pdf - 604KB]

From the Summary: "This CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report 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 since 1993. [...] Since 2001, the Bush Administration has continued the policy of engagement with China, while the Pentagon has skeptically reviewed and cautiously resumed a program of military-to-military exchanges. [...] Issues for the 111th Congress include whether the Administration has complied with legislation overseeing dealings with the PLA and has determined a program of contacts with the PLA that advances a prioritized list of U.S. security interests. Oversight legislation includes the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY1990-FY1991 (P.L. 101-246); National Defense Authorization Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-65); and National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109- 163). Skeptics and proponents of military exchanges with the PRC have debated whether the contacts have significant value for achieving U.S. objectives and whether the contacts have contributed to the PLA's warfighting capabilities that might harm U.S. security interests. U.S. interests in military contacts with China include: communication, conflict prevention, and crisis management; transparency and reciprocity; tension reduction over Taiwan; weapons nonproliferation; strategic nuclear and space talks; counterterrorism; and accounting for POW/MIAs. U.S. defense officials report inadequate cooperation from the PLA, including denials of port visits at Hong Kong by U.S. Navy ships in November 2007. The PLA suspended military dialogue in October 2008 over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. PRC ships aggressively harassed U.S. ocean surveillance ships, including the USNS Impeccable, in March 2009."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32496
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