Research Archive

China seeks to become an international leader in space, or what it terms a “space power in all respects.” In this role, Beijing aspires to lead international space-related innovation and exploration and establish an advanced system of infrastructure to serve its space sector. China has suffered some setbacks on projects crucial for the progression of program milestones, such as its heavy-lift launch vehicle program, and still lags behind the United States in its human spaceflight and space station program. Nevertheless, China’s space program is a source of national pride, and its consistent high level of political support and funding ensures progress toward establishing itself as a space power. In 2003, China joined the United States and Russia as a member of the exclusive group of countries to have conducted human spaceflight, and since then it has nearly completed a new, rival global navigation satellite system (GNSS)—set for completion in 2020—and demonstrated its willingness to undertake high-risk, high-reward missions, as reflected by its historic landing on the moon’s far side in 2019. China is likely to achieve future milestones in areas where it is lagging behind international standards on shorter timetables than when the United States accomplished similar missions. This report examines China’s space goals and national space strategy; its progress toward those goals, including an examination of China’s progress in its advanced launch vehicle, long-term crewed space station, and lunar exploration programs; and the primary entities involved in setting and implementing its space policy. Finally, the report assesses the implications of China’s space program for the United States and its continued leadership in space. 04/11/2019
Highlights of This Month’s Edition • Bilateral trade: In January 2019, U.S. exports of goods to China fell 27.5 percent year-on-year to $7.1 billion—a record-setting decline; the monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods with China totaled $34.5 billion. • Bilateral policy issues: On March 6, Huawei sued the U.S. government, alleging it had been unlawfully and incorrectly banned from U.S. government procurement. • Policy trends in China’s economy: The Chinese government set an annual GDP growth target of between 6 and 6.5 percent in 2019 amid slowing global economic growth projections and ongoing trade tensions with the United States; China’s new Foreign Investment Law aims to address U.S. concerns about intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers; observers expressed concern the law will serve as window dressing and not result in meaningful change. • In focus – China-EU relations: Intra-EU divisions on display amid President Xi’s trip to Europe; the European Commission labeled China a “systemic rival” and France tried to apply greater pressure on Chinese trade and technology policies, while Italy endorsed China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 04/05/2019
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission invites submission of proposals to design and develop the new www.uscc.gov website, from concept to completion. Electronic or hard-copy proposals must be submitted by 5:00PM (EST) on April 4, 2019. 03/14/2019
Highlights of This Month’s Edition • Bilateral trade: In 2018, the U.S. goods trade deficit with China grew 11.6 percent year-on-year to $419 billion due to a 7.4 percent drop in exports to China, while U.S. imports from China grew 6.7 percent to reach a record $539.5 billion. • Bilateral policy issues: U.S.-China trade negotiations continue as the March 1 deadline for tariff increases is delayed until further notice; Huawei’s troubles compound as the U.S. Department of Justice charges the company with violating U.S.-Iran sanctions and stealing trade secrets; countries around the world weigh Huawei’s 5G participation, some push back on U.S. warning of security concerns. • Policy trends in China’s economy: The long-awaited Greater Bay Area Plan, an ambitious blueprint to integrate nine cities in Guangdong Province with Hong Kong and Macau, sets the goal of rivalling Silicon Valley against high barriers to coordination. • Sector focus – Digital Services: With over 800 million internet users, the Chinese digital services market is growing quickly, creating lucrative opportunities for digital services providers in industries such as cloud computing, digital content, and e-commerce. However, U.S. and other foreign digital services companies face significant regulatory obstacles and strong domestic competition. 03/06/2019
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a report entitled China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement, prepared for the Commission by Gryphon Scientific and Rhodium Group. The report examines the development of China’s biotechnology industry and the role foreign trade, investment, and other linkages—particularly with the United States—have played in its evolution. 02/14/2019
Highlights of This Month’s Edition  Bilateral Trade: The U.S. trade deficit in goods with China totaled $37.9 billion in November 2018, a 6.9 percent increase over November 2017; in Q3 2018, U.S. services exports to China grew 2.4 percent but the pace of growth for exports and imports has steadily declined since 2016.  Bilateral Policy Issues: In 2018, Chinese FDI to the United States reached $4.8 billion, 83.4 percent drop year-on-year, while Chinese venture capital investments in the United States reached record levels.  Quarterly Review of China’s Economy: China’s economy grew 6.6 percent year-on-year in 2018—the weakest annual pace since 1990—as the effects of China’s deleveraging campaign and trade tensions with the United States start to take a toll; state-owned enterprises enjoyed strong profits in 2018 despite a general economic slowdown, benefiting from the private sector credit crunch and renewed government support; the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reports China’s declining housing prices slowed toward the end of 2018, though prices in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities continued to fall. 02/06/2019
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. 01/28/2019
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. 01/24/2019
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. 01/23/2019
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. 01/11/2019

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Disclaimer

The research papers in this section were prepared at the request of the Commission to support its deliberations. They are posted to the Commission’s website in order to promote greater public understanding of the issues addressed by the Commission in its ongoing assessment of U.S.-China economic relations and their implications for U.S. security, as mandated by P.L. 106-398 and P.L. 108-7. Their posting to the Commission’s website does not imply an endorsement by the Commission or any individual Commissioner of the views or conclusions expressed in them.