The Trump Administration cited China as a major reason behind its decision to announce U.S. intentions to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. China is not a party to the INF Treaty, which has allowed Beijing to rapidly expand its missile arsenal as part of a military strategy designed to counter U.S. and allied military power in Asia. China has consistently refused to accede to the accord and expressed its opposition to U.S. withdrawal, positions that implicitly recognize the advantages Beijing derives from being unconstrained by the treaty’s limits. This report explains the importance of China’s ground-launched missiles to Beijing’s overall military strategy; surveys Chinese reactions to the potential U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty; and assesses both the positive and negative implications of U.S. withdrawal for the military balance in Asia, global arms control regime, U.S. relations with Asian allies, and China-Russia ties.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission invites submission of proposals to provide a one-time unclassified report on China’s space and counterspace capabilities and activities. Electronic or hard-copy proposals must be submitted by 5:00PM (EST) on February 20, 2019.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission invites submission of proposals to provide a one-time unclassified report on China’s smart cities development. Electronic or hard-copy proposals must be submitted by 5:00PM (EST) on February 20, 2019.
Highlights of This Month’s Edition
• Bilateral trade: Due to a lapse in federal funding, the relevant data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis were not available for a monthly update and analysis.
• Policy trends in China’s economy: At the Central Economic Work Conference, Chinese leaders promise increased economic support measures as trade tensions with the United States and flagging domestic consumption weigh on China’s economy; the Chinese government seeks to stabilize growth by cutting the bank’s reserve requirement ratio, increasing infrastructure spending, and expanding local government debt; weak consumer demand heightens attention on surprising official estimates that China’s population could start declining by 2027.
• In Focus – “Self-reliance” and Chinese import policy: Some U.S. sales to China of advanced technology products may aid China’s efforts to establish self-sufficiency.
Highlights of This Month’s Edition:
• Bilateral trade: In October 2018, the U.S. goods trade deficit increased 22.3 percent year-on-year to reach a record high of $43.1 billion; declines in export categories targeted by retaliatory tariffs contributed to the sharp deficit increase.
• Bilateral policy issues: Escalation in U.S. and Chinese tariffs halted for 90 days, but longstanding U.S. concerns about China’s technology transfer, intellectual property (IP) theft, and innovation policies remain unaddressed; the Chinese government commits to take additional steps to combat illicit fentanyl flows, purchase U.S. agricultural products, but details of the agreement remain unclear; the U.S. government took action against Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, citing IP violations, and trade secret theft from Micron (the largest U.S. memory chip maker), and risks to the U.S. military supply chain; Huawei executive arrested for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions.
• Policy trends in China’s economy: Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales reach another record high, but the pace of growth has slowed, reflecting a weaker Chinese economy and rising competition from other e-commerce platforms and promotional events.
• In Focus – Lithium-ion batteries: China has positioned itself to dominate global supply chains and production of lithium-ion batteries, a core technology enabling the adoption of electric vehicles and transportation.
China is the largest market for trafficked wildlife products. Its demand has been an important factor leading to declines in iconic species such as elephants and big cats, as well as in lesser-known species like pangolins. Although China’s legal regime establishes protections for many endangered species, loopholes regarding captive breeding and antitrafficking enforcement create opportunities for the illicit wildlife trade to flourish. Success in combating this trade varies by species: regarding the trade in elephant ivory, for example, a confluence of domestic and international pressure culminated in a U.S.-China joint ivory ban, completed in early 2018. Though indications following the ban appear promising, China’s recent partial reversal of its ban on the use of rhino horn and tiger bone highlights continuing shortcomings in its effort to combat wildlife trafficking.
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.