U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress [Updated August 20, 2007]   [open pdf - 399KB]

From the Summary: "This CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military contacts with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts 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 began to re-engage the PRC leadership up to the highest level and 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, and the EP-3 aircraft collision crisis in 2001. 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 (mil-to-mil) exchanges. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in 2002, resumed the Defense Consultative Talks (DCT) with the PLA (first held in 1997) and, in 2003, hosted General Cao Gangchuan, a Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and Defense Minister. General Richard Myers (USAF), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited China in January 2004, as the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to do so since November 2000."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32496
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