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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Hearing: China’s Military and Security Activities Abroad," March 4, 2009

This hearing was conducted by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on March 4, 2009. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009
Room 418 Russell Senate Office Building
Delaware and Constitution Avenues, NE
Washington, DC 20510

Hearing Co-Chairs: Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew and Vice Chairman Larry Wortzel

Opening Statement of Carolyn Bartholomew, Chairman

Good morning and welcome to the second hearing of the U.S.-China Commission’s 2009 reporting cycle. Today, the Commission will examine China’s global military and security activities and their impact on U.S. economic and security interests. Our purpose in this hearing is to collect information about the direction of China’s military modernization; to discern the scope, strategies, and intentions of Chinese military activities abroad; and to analyze how this experience may affect U.S. security interests in Asia and elsewhere around the world.

As we speak, the United States and China are engaged in multilateral anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. This mission in the Gulf of Aden is the first long-term deployment for PLA naval forces outside of China’s territorial waters. It is important to understand how this mission reflects the current direction and objectives of the Chinese military, and how the experience and capabilities obtained through this mission may be put to use in other scenarios.

The panels in this hearing will look at the strategic orientation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and other security forces in China, the influence of Chinese security activities abroad, and the operations in which PLA forces are engaged. I hope that the testimony will provide the Commission with an understanding of the trends of China’s military activities around the world and offer suggestions for the diplomatic and military tools the United States can best use to ensure the protection of its interests around the globe.

To help us understand these issues, we will be joined by a number of expert witnesses from the Government, academia, and the private sector. We are pleased to welcome two representatives from the Administration: Mr. John J. Norris, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, and Mr. David Sedney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asian Affairs. We are especially grateful that Deputy Assistant Secretary Sedney could participate given his recent return from the Defense Policy Coordination Talks in Beijing. The Commission’s Vice Chairman, Larry Wortzel, is serving with me as the hearing co-chair and has opening remarks. Once again, I welcome all of you to this hearing, and I now turn to Vice Chairman Wortzel for his opening statement.

Opening Statement of Larry Wortzel, Vice Chairman

Thank you, Chairman Bartholomew. I’d like to also extend my welcome to our panelists and guests. In 2004, President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Hu Jintao articulated a new set of four historic missions for the People’s Liberation Army. These four missions included “[safeguarding] China’s expanding national interests,” and “[helping] ensure world peace.” Today, with the Gulf of Aden mission, we are seeing China’s armed forces reach further from China’s territory and territorial waters than ever before to fulfill these two missions. It is vitally important for the U.S. government and military to observe these activities and analyze their impact on U.S. interests and our ability to protect them, and on the development of China’s military capabilities and the consequent implications for U.S. security.

China is demonstrating that it will protect its global economic interests through diplomacy and, when necessary, military power. In doing so, it has also assumed international responsibilities in keeping open critical sea lines of communication. The PLA Navy has entered into coordinating relationships with the navies of the other countries fighting piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The diversification of the PLA’s activities means that it must interact with other militaries. This is an important contribution to global security that may also build confidence in how China will adapt to its growing international role. The PLA’s involvement in international security affairs is expanding, and this hearing will examine where they are going, what they are doing, and why. I hope that this hearing will provide information about the Chinese military’s new objectives and activities, and identify how these activities affect U.S. security interests around the world, including counterterrorism and peace-building.

Thank you, again, Madame Chairman and thanks to our witnesses for being here today. I look forward to your statements and our subsequent discussions with you. At this time, we will introduce our first panel.

Opening Statements
Opening Statement of Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew
Opening Statement of Vice Chairman Larry Wortzel

Panel I:  Administration Perspective
Mr. John J. Norris, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
Mr. David Sedney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC

Panel II: The PLA’s Domestic and Foreign Activities and Orientation
Dr. Bernard Cole, Professor of International History, National War College, Washington, DC
Mr. Daniel Hartnett, China Analyst, CNA Corporation, Alexandria, VA

Panel III: China’s Expanding Military and Security Influence
RADM Eric McVadon, USN (Ret.), Director of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC
Ms. Susan L. Craig, Author of “Chinese Perceptions of Traditional and Non-traditional Threats,” Hawaii

Panel IV: China’s Military Operations Abroad
Dr. Paul J. Smith, Associate Professor, Naval War College, Newport, RI
Dr. Michael Auslin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC
Mr. Chin-hao Huang, Researcher, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Stockholm, Sweden



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