Research Archive

China’s ability to conduct conventional cruise and ballistic missile strikes on Guam is growing, even as the island’s strategic importance to the United States is increasing. This report examines the reasons behind China’s development of new conventional weapons that can reach Guam, the array of forces it could employ against Guam in a potential conflict, and policy options for the United States to consider in response. Accuracy limitations and platform vulnerabilities render the current risk to U.S. forces on Guam in a potential conflict relatively low, but China’s commitment to continuing to modernize its strike capabilities indicates the risk will likely continue to grow going forward. 05/10/2016
Highlights of This Month’s Edition: • Bilateral trade: Weaker imports cause the U.S. goods deficit with China to fall 5.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter; Chinese services exports to the United States reach an all-time high of $4.24 billion, driven largely by increases in U.S. tourism spending. • Bilateral policy issues: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative labels China’s Internet censorship a trade barrier; China ends “Demonstration Bases” export subsidy program after U.S. challenge at the WTO; multilateral effort to rein in overcapacity fails, even as Chinese steel production hits new high; U.S. Steel accuses China of IP theft. • Quarterly review of China’s economy: In the first quarter of 2016, the Chinese government again used investment to bolster economic growth, raising questions about the recovery’s sustainability. • Sector focus – Pork: A pig shortage in China has led to a dramatic increase in pork prices and sent consumers clamoring for imports, but U.S. exporters continue to face market access restrictions. 05/04/2016
From December 2013 to October 2015, China built artificial islands with a total area of close to 3,000 acres on seven coral reefs it occupies in the Spratly Islands in the southern part of the South China Sea. Although dredging, land reclamation, and the building of artificial islands are not unique to China, the scale and speed of China’s activities, the biodiversity of the area, and the significance of the Spratly Islands to the ecology of the region make China’s actions of particular concern. In addition to damage to the reefs, China’s island building activities have negatively impacted fisheries in the immediate area of the reclamation sites, and could negatively impact the health of fisheries in the coastal areas of the South China Sea. The building of these artificial islands will almost certainly lead to increased Chinese fishing in the surrounding waters, which could raise the risk of a clash between Chinese fishing boats and those of other claimant countries. Moreover, China’s island building activities may have violated some of its environmental commitments under international law; the ongoing case initiated by the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague regarding China’s claims and activities in the South China Sea is considering this possibility. 04/12/2016
Highlights of this Month’s Edition: • Bilateral trade: U.S. trade deficit with China down in February 2016 on weaker exports and imports. • Bilateral policy issues: Department of Commerce announces, then temporarily lifts, sanctions against Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE for violating U.S. export controls. • Policy trends in China’s economy: Chinese government floats new plans to eliminate mounting debt. • 13th Five-Year Plan: Chinese government’s blueprint for the country’s development in 2016–2020 outlines plans for continued economic rebalancing, accelerated urbanization, domestic industrial upgrading, and green development. 04/05/2016
While the People’s liberation Army continues to build anti-access/area denial capabilities to deter or delay a U.S. military response to a potential conflict with China, Beijing also appears to be pursuing other options—including nonmilitary options prior to a conflict—likely intended to erode the United States’ strategic position, freedom of action, and operational space in the Asia Pacific. The nonmilitary options being pursued include engagement, coercion, and alliance splitting focused on U.S. allies and partners in the Asia Pacific region. Although Beijing’s attempts to limit U.S. force projection capabilities in Asia through these efforts have produced mixed results, there is little indication Beijing will abandon its efforts to mitigate the U.S. military presence in the region. 03/15/2016
Highlights of this Month’s Edition: • Bilateral trade: U.S. exports struggle with a strong dollar and weak global growth; China remains the largest U.S. trading partner in goods. • Bilateral policy issues: Chinese companies spend more on acquisitions of U.S. firms in January and February than in all of 2015. • Policy trends in China’s economy: China lowers RRR, opens bond markets to foreigners to counter capital outflows; Chinese public increases travel and consumer spending during the 2016 Lunar New Year; New Chinese online content restrictions create uncertainty for U.S. tech and media companies. • Sector focus – GMOs: ChemChina makes $43 billion bid to acquire agriculture giant Syngenta; China seeks to boost agriculture productivity by increasing GMO crop production. 03/04/2016
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission 2016 Public Hearing schedule. 03/03/2016
This report assesses the extent to which China has enforced its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, and considers the potential conditions and implications of a Chinese ADIZ in the South China Sea. 03/02/2016
Highlights of this Month’s Edition: • Bilateral trade: At $365.7 billion, U.S. goods deficit with China hits new record; U.S. services exports expanded to a record high in Q3 2015 driven by high Chinese travel to the United States. • Bilateral policy issues: U.S. firms rate Chinese interpretation of law as top concern and report lower profitability and future growth in China’s economy in American Chamber of Commerce survey. • Quarterly review of China’s economy: GDP growth slows to 6.9 percent on manufacturing deceleration; Beijing pursues new “supply-side” reforms; stock market volatility continues; the $500 billion surge in Chinese capital outflows places the Chinese government on the horns of a dilemma. • Sector focus – Real estate: The slowdown in China’s real estate sector remains a drag on GDP growth; government attempts to boost the sector have failed to halt the market’s decline. 02/05/2016
The report examines the Chinese government’s actions to promote the use of its currency, the renminbi (RMB), in the global monetary system as a payment currency for cross-border trade and financial transactions, a vehicle currency for foreign trade and international capital transactions, and a reserve currency. The report analyzes the potential effects of the rising prominence of the RMB on the financial clout of the United States and the U.S. dollar’s role in denominating international trade transactions and settling cross-border financial transactions. 02/04/2016

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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.