Over the past two decades, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has expanded its involvement in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) missions outside China’s borders. Through its contributions to HA/DR, Beijing has provided important assistance to disaster-stricken populations and sought to burnish its image as a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. At the same time, Beijing routinely allows political considerations to guide its participation in HA/DR missions, violating the humanitarian spirit of these operations and suggesting Chinese leaders may view HA/DR less as a global good than an instrument of influence. Moreover, the PLA has cooperated haltingly with international partners during these missions and at times willfully disregarded best practices for military participation in HA/DR. This report examines the drivers behind the PLA’s increasing participation in HA/DR abroad; the impact, both positive and problematic, of the PLA’s involvement in several recent multinational disaster relief operations; and the implications of the PLA’s involvement in and approach to these missions for the United States.
Highlights of This Month’s Edition
• Bilateral trade: U.S. goods deficit with China totaled $30.2 billion in May 2019, down 9 percent year-on-year, reflecting a decline in both exports and imports.
• Bilateral policy issues: New tariffs on Chinese goods halted as the United States and China agree to resume trade talks; the United States adds five entities tied to China’s development of supercomputers to the Entity List; U.S. importers are attempting to sidestep tariffs on goods from China, but some are reconsidering production in China altogether as a possible fourth wave of tariffs looms; China suspends WTO dispute against the EU over China’s market economy status after it allegedly lost the case, allowing the EU and United States to continue treating China as a nonmarket economy.
• In focus – The Baoshang Takeover: In a surprise move, Chinese financial regulators took over Baoshang Bank on May 24, sparking a slowdown in interbank lending to small and regional banks, even as the People’s Bank of China intervened to keep interbank credit channels open.
In his report to the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, General Secretary Xi Jinping declared that China would complete the modernization of its armed forces by 2035 and transform them into “world-class forces” by the middle of the 21st century. Xi’s vision for the composition and mix of capabilities that would allow the People’s Liberation Army to be judged to be a “world-class” military is unknown. Will it be a force with global expeditionary capability, mimicking the United States, or an overwhelming regional force reminiscent of Imperial Japan in 1941? Or, as the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, could it be both? This hearing will explore what the implications of a world-class Chinese military might be for the United States and its allies and partners, with the goal to begin a public dialogue on this topic and develop recommendations for Congress on how the United States might best protect its interests in the face of a highly-capable Chinese competitor.
This hearing will examine China’s development of artificial intelligence, new materials, and energy storage, renewable energy, and nuclear power. It will assess China’s capabilities in producing and commercializing these technologies vis-à-vis the United States and its ambitions to export these technologies and shape their global governance in ways that disadvantage the United States. The hearing will also consider China’s potential military application of these technologies and strategic implications for the United States.
Highlights of This Month’s Edition
• Bilateral trade: In April 2019, U.S. goods exports to China fall, while imports are up, pushing the U.S. goods deficit to $26.9 billion, from $20.7 billion in March.
• Bilateral policy issues: An impasse in trade negotiations in early May preceded a volley of policy actions from the United States, including a tariff hike and an additional proposed list of tariffs affecting the remainder of U.S. imports from China. China responded to U.S. actions by threatening rare earths export blockades, stringent cybersecurity reviews, and regulatory retaliation.
• In focus – Chinese financial markets: Beijing’s efforts to liberalize financial markets remain stalled, but there have been signs of progress over the last year, increasing foreign access to China’s financial sector.
In 2018, China reported several cases of African swine fever, or ASF, a highly contagious disease that is deadly to pigs. The disease has now spread throughout China, where it has already reduced the country’s hog population by more than 50 million, and throughout other countries in Asia. This report provides an overview of the ASF outbreak in China, the implications for U.S. exports of pork and animal feed products, and the risks posed to U.S. food safety and food security.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the United States Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.