Secretary Gates has called on China to increase its security
cooperation with the United States in areas of common interest,
ranging from counterterrorism and nonproliferation to energy security.
Admiral Keating has also made significant progress in arranging for
meaningful military to military contacts between the two countries in
compliance with the guidance on such contacts established by this
committee and law.
In addition, the United States-China defense hotline is now
operational. There's dialogue with China on nuclear strategy and
policy. There is continuing U.S.-China cooperation on the
denuclearization of North Korea. And China recently supported
additional sanctions against Iran for its suspected nuclear
activities. There's also a new United States-China agreement on
Korean War prisoner of war MIA matters.
And I continue to believe that China is not necessarily destined
to be a threat to the United States. There are trends and ambiguities
that do concern us, and today's hearing should help us better
understand China's military development efforts. But we must also
acknowledge China's limitations and recognize that China's choices may
well be shaped by our own actions.
There are also unique opportunities for progress with China on
security matters this year, given the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
and new leadership in Taiwan, recent movement by Taiwan and the
mainland toward an easing of tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
So gentlemen, we thank you for being here. We're very interested
to hear your assessment of recent security development. Now let me
turn to my friend John McHugh, the gentleman from New York.
REP. JOHN MCHUGH (R-NY): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, as you know, the distinguished ranking member, Mr.
Hunter, is a bit delayed.
I would say to our witnesses, like all of us here, we extend to
you a welcome and words of appreciation. Mr. Secretary, General, we
look forward very much to your comments.
Mr. Chairman, I would ask that the ranking member's statement be
entered in its entirety to the record.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 4
And with that, just -- let me say a few word, particularly to
you, Mr. Chairman, in appreciation for holding these hearings. These
reports over the past seven years have become a critically important
component of our nation's ability to judge the emerging Chinese
As the chairman noted, all of us are excited and by and large
optimistic about the opportunity to work with China in partnership on
issues that are of mutual concern to both nations. The Chinese
people, as we're all hopeful they demonstrate very clearly in the
upcoming Olympics, are an important part of world development, and
their partnership, as the chairman noted, in such things as the six-
party talks and other areas are absolutely essential.
However, their military ambitions still remain clouded. I, and I
know others on this committee, as well as many others across the
globe, are concerned about their intentions and as much about what we
don't know as what we do know. And of course, this report is very
helpful in helping us fill in some of those blanks.
So with that word of appreciation and in anticipation of your
comments, gentlemen, again, welcome.
Mr. Chairman, I'll yield back.
REP. SKELTON: Thank you so much.
Without further ado, Mr. Shinn, we'll begin with you, sir.
MR. SHINN: Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members, Genera
Breedlove and I thank you for giving us the opportunity to appea
before you today.
We submitted some written remarks, Mr. Chairman, if -- we'd
appreciate it if they could be submitted for the record.
REP. SKELTON: Without objection.
MR. SHINN: And if I may, what I'd like to do is just briefly
summarize those written remarks around three of the key questions
which concern us and which, I'm sure, concern this committee regarding
China's security developments.
I think the first question is, what are the Chinese doing in
terms of their modernization and their buildup? The second question
is, what does it mean? What does it mean for us and for our allies in
the region? And the third, sort of, practical question is, what is
the Defense Department in particular and the U.S. government more
broadly doing to react and deal with this buildup?
With regard to the first question, as Congressman McHugh noted,
we have submitted the China Military Power Report, of which we're
quite proud. And we hope that the members found it useful and to
fulfill the mandate. I think there's four key points about the facts
of the buildup that were highlighted in the report. The first, as you
know, is that the Chinese have engaged in a sustained, very sizable
increase in their expenditure. And they've done so over quite a few
years. The official budget is about $60 billion. Our estimates
suggest it's perhaps twice that, but we don't really know. And that
goes to previous comments about the importance of transparency.
The second major observation about the buildup is that it is
across all their services. It's comprehensive; in the sea, the land
and air forces of the PLA. And it's also particularly significant
that it includes the nuclear as well as the conventional forces.
Third point is that, if you will, it -- the Chinese are investing
heavily in what you might call the software of the PLA as well as the
hardware assets, in other words, in personnel recruiting, in training,
in the logistics and their command and control apparatus. We think
this was sufficiently important that there's a special topic session
in this year's power report to try and get to the importance of
And the fourth and final observation about the military buildup:
as you know, it reflects what appears to be a deliberate and well-
thought-through Chinese strategy to invest in asymmetric warfare --
cyberwarfare, counter-space capability, their very sophisticated
ballistic and cruise missile program and, of course, undersea warfare.
We tried to lay this out in chapter three of the report, because we
think it's so important.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 6
Move to the -- if I may move to the second question, what does
this mean, what does this buildup mean for us and for our allies in
I think the first conclusion is that the cross-strait military balance
continues to shift in the mainland's favor, as a result of this
There's an annex at the end of the military power report that
lays out, in a couple of tables, the results of the mainland Chinese
military buildup. But on the other column, it's got the Chinese
forces. And it's a pretty graphic piece of evidence for the shift in
the military balance across the straits.
The second observation about what it means is that it
increasingly puts U.S. forces in the region and the forces of our
allies, in the region, at risk. Again as the members know, the
Chinese have invested heavily in what they call anti-access or area-
denial capabilities, in particular the sophisticated C4ISR required to
track, for example, U.S. vessels at long distance and the anti-ship
cruise missiles to threaten those forces, once they're under way.
I think the third and final observation about what this means,
what this buildup means for us, is that this increasing capability may
alter their intent. In other words, the increasing capacity of the
PLA may present the Chinese leadership with more options.
And as the chairman mentioned in his comments, this goes right to
the heart of the issue. What's the intent of this buildup? For
example, we don't know, as the Chinese nuclear forces increase, in
their size, in their survivability and in their precision, we're not
sure if this is going to alter their, for example, their no-first-use
We are very careful about inferring intent based solely on
expanding capability. But as the members of this committee know in
particular, in the military, in the absence of transparency, one is
forced to plan for the worst case. And that's part of the reason for
the deep seriousness with which we view the military buildup.
Mr. Chairman and members, if I could finish very briefly on the
third question which is, what is the DOD of the U.S. government, with
the direction and support of the Congress, doing about this Chinese
threat? I think again there's probably four principal lines of
operation and response to it.
The first and in some respects the most pressing is to continue
in the intelligence collection and analysis, so we understand as much
as possible not just about the contours of the force buildup, but also
as much as possible trying to divine intent.
What does the leadership, what does the PLA leadership, what does the
party leadership intend to do with this increasing capability?
The second line of operation obviously is to continue to train,
equip and posture our forces in the Pacific under the command of
Admiral Keating and to do so in a way that responds to the shifting
capabilities of the PLA. The third observation -- and it's consistent
-- complementary to the second -- is to work very closely with our
alliance partners in the region to build their capacity and to make
sure that these alliances are also modified over time to deal with
enhanced Chinese capability.
And finally -- the final area of focus is to engage the Chinese
government and the PLA at a number of levels, both at the top level
with the secretary, the mil-to-mil contact that the chairman made
reference to, junior officers, mid-grade NCOs and to keep going a
couple of functional committees, for example, on cooperating on
disaster relief. I think the rationale for this is, number one, as
you engage in this contact with the PLA and the Chinese leadership you
learn more about them. You can also -- we can also signal our resolve
in the Pacific, which reduces the chances of miscalculation on the
other side, and we can build both the confidence and the communication
links, such as the Defense telephone link that was referred to earlier
if things go badly.
So in conclusion, Mr. Chairman and members, China's rise
certainly presents us with a variety of opportunities and challenges.
As the chairman said just a few minutes ago, the Chinese are
definitely not destined -- they're not destined to be an adversary.
China has a lot of choices to make. And we have some capability to
shape those choices.
As my secretary said a few weeks ago, we do not see China as a
strategic adversary. It's a competitor in some respects and a partner
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REP. SKELTON: Thank you so much, Mr. Shinn.
General Breedlove, please.
GEN. BREEDLOVE: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, distinguished
members. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to appear
HASC-CHINA PAGE 10
today before you discuss these developments that we have already been
It's been just a little over a year since I've had the last
opportunity to talk about this important topic with you. And while
many of the same concerns about China remain from that discussion, we
have also seen some reasons for encouragement, especially in regards
to our relationship with the People's Liberation Army, the PLA.
Mr. Chairman, as you mentioned, we have had a series of bilateral
dialogues on nuclear strategy and doctrine, and we have established
the phone link. Beyond that, we've also -- in other engagements our
delegations have seen a modest increase in exposure to PLA facilities,
as you mentioned about your trip, Mr. Chairman. We continue to see
progress and cooperation in areas of common interest, like
humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and military environmental
protection. Another encouraging sign was China's reception of relief
supplies during our -- delivered by our military aircraft to the needy
Chinese during these past winter storms and the more -- most recent
Unfortunately, as you mentioned, many or some of our concerns
still remain. It comes as no surprise that China is modernizing its
military. We have to expect that from a nation experiencing such
impressive economic growth. However, much of the PLA's modernization
program remains opaque to us and to China's neighbors.
We continue to communicate to China that our desire for greater
transparency and openness is to gain a better understanding of their
strategic intent, as the secretary has mentioned. We believe this is
clearly in the interest of all concerned in order to avoid any
misunderstanding or miscalculation. We continue to watch this
situation closely and respond in a matter that benefits peace and
stability in this most important region.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, I greatly look forward to your
questions this afternoon.
REP. SKELTON: General, thank you very much.
Let me ask one question before I ask Mr. McHugh. The Taiwan
Strait has been considered a very dangerous spot on our planet. Is it
as dangerous today as it was two to three years ago?
MR. SHINN: In terms of the danger associated with the military
balance across the straits, Mr. Chairman, I think we'd have to
conclude that as the balance has shifted towards the mainland, it has
materially increased the danger across the straits.
On the other hand, as you know, there have been some recent
political developments across the straits, in particular after the
election of Ma Ying-Jeou, apparently the two sides have engaged in
some discussions that have reduced -- at least, appears to have
reduced the threat and the probability of the use of force.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 12
I'm not sure if -- I'm not sure if you add these together, what
the net effect is, but there's definitely been some change.
REP. SKELTON: General?
GEN. BREEDLOVE: Sir, if I could add, I would agree with the
secretary. And I would say from a purely uniformed military
perspective, clearly there are two sides to the answer I would pose.
First of all, as you are well-aware, sir, that the military capability
that China has to put upon the strait in the form of increased air
defense and other capabilities -- which might be better discussed in
our closed session later -- make it militarily a more challenging
I would also add, however, sir, as we mentioned in the opening
remarks, we have had increased dialogue. And we now have better forms
of communication with our military counterparts, which we would hope
to be, in some manner, a diffusing capability to possible incidents
across the Strait.
REP. SKELTON: Mr. McHugh?
REP. MCHUGH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, as I briefly mentioned in my opening comments that the
concern is as much about what we don't know as what we know, and Mr.
Secretary you commented, and it's a matter of record, that our
estimates project that the actual military spending by the Chinese may
be at least two times what they publicly state.
I don't know what you can say in open session. I don't know what you
can say about what you don't know. It's a rather difficult challenge
But I'm just curious. Do we have any estimates on where we are
concerned they might be making these undeclared expenditures? What
kind of programs? Is this where the anti-cyber is coming from, or to
-- what are the kinds of things we're trying to find out?
MR. SHINN: As you know from your previous comments, there is a
lot of black areas in their military expenditure that we just don't
have much insight into.
To answer your question more specifically, you know, they don't
appear to include in the formal announced budget their weapons
acquisitions from abroad -- for example, a lot of these big-ticket
purchases from the Russians. We really don't know where the R&D for
the nuclear program falls. In fact, we have very little visibility at
all into their nuclear expenditure, either the missiles, the warheads,
the fissile material.
And I think, thirdly, we don't know generally -- we have very
little visibility generally into the R&D -- the real underlying R&D,
particularly the dual-use R&D, that may arise as a by-product of the
rapid economic industrialization that General Breedlove referred to
earlier and which the -- many of the members have observed firsthand
on your trips, for example. So we have very little visibility into
REP. MCHUGH: General, I don't know if you want to add -- I saw
you're nodding your head -- that -- okay --
GEN. BREEDLOVE: No, sir, I just -- I agree with what the
secretary said. Yes.
REP. MCHUGH: And then let me just ask a follow-up and then I'd
be happy to yield to my colleagues. Mr. Secretary, you mention
foreign acquisitions, and the report shows very clearly we're
concerned about, as you noted, big-ticket items, particularly Sunburn
ballistic missiles, a great threat to our ships, et cetera, et cetera.
And yet we've got data coming out of Stockholm Peace Institute that
suggests -- in fact, it said that China's purchases on these items --
types of items from Russia last year actually dropped 70 percent. How
do we reconcile that to -- I'm a little pressed to make any -- a lot
of sense out of those two conflicting data points.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 14
MR. SHINN: I'm not sure we can reconcile them with a great deal
of granularity, Congressman. But I think one of the likely
explanations is that the Chinese may well have either bought all of
the initial systems that they wanted to -- and that's sort of just a
function of their acquisition profile over time -- or they may have
made more progress earlier on in terms of creating an indigenous
capability. It's clear, as you know, that they never intended to
become dependent upon foreign suppliers for a long time, and there was
always a big technology transfer component of these deals with the
Russians and elsewhere.
REP. MCHUGH: Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.
So they may have figured it out for themselves and are relying less
upon those kinds of purchases and can do them indigenously. We don't
see any diplomatic parting of the ways between the Russian and Chinese
partnership, do we? No surface rift we can see. It's just a purchase
change. Is that correct?
MR. SHINN: I think that's correct, sir. As you know, there have
been some joint exercises. The Russians and the Chinese cooperate in
some areas. They're a little -- they have somewhat brittle
relationships in others. It's hard to -- it's hard to make out a
distinct pattern that explains the track record for the decline in
REP. MCHUGH: Thank you, gentlemen.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REP. SKELTON: Thank you.
Solomon Ortiz, from Texas.
REP. SOLOMON ORTIZ (D-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you so much for appearing before our committee this
morning. I know there's people who might not -- had the opportunity
to go to China, but my first trip was back in 1983. And now you go to
China and you see the investment that China has made. It takes years
to build and to construct, but it only takes one crazy minute to
destroy all that we have built. So I am glad to see the engagement
between the United States and China, the proposal by Secretary Gates.
About six years ago, there was a delegation from this committee
that went to China. And we asked to see if we could meet with their
war college, to talk to the students there. And we were told that we
couldn't do that. Anyway, we went there and we asked and they were
able to accommodate us and we met with the students, most of them
lieutenant colonels and colonels. It was right after 9/11. We broke
into groups and we had a very, very constructive discussion.
So I am elated that now we are reaching out -- and this is very,
very important because I think that when we communicate with one
another, there's hope and that nothing crazy will happen. I see where
-- I think that China has agreed to make a report to the United
Nations about their doing -- the buildup. They have become more
HASC-CHINA PAGE 16
transparent. Is this something that we have not seen before, the
transparency that China now is offering?
MR. SHINN: Certainly, there's been some progress, Mr. Ortiz.
And both the report to the U.N., although it's obviously -- glides
over some important details, is certainly a step in the right
With regard to your initial comment about the fact that it takes
a long time to build up these capabilities but they can be used very
quickly, this is one of the reasons -- this has animated the nuclear
dialogue. Any time you deal with the question of nuclear weapons, you
have to take a deep breath and step back. In fact, the nuclear
dialogue is an area where we have made steady progress since, as you
know, Secretary Rumsfeld visited China in 2005.
And I believe Chairman Skelton visited -- had one of the very first
visits to the 2nd Artillery, which is the nuclear force part of the
PLA, which was a significant breakthrough. That was a significant
breakthrough and accelerated this dialogue. So I -- before turning
to General Breedlove for any comments he'd wish to add, we very much
appreciate the continued engagement of the Chinese on the part of the
members of this committee and Congress. We owe, I think, some of the
progress on the Defense telephone link, for example, to some
persistent advocacy by members of this committee in their discussions
with the Chinese. It has been very helpful.
GEN. BREEDLOVE: And sir, just to add -- in fact, I'm a product
of those exchanges which you talked about. In my National War College
experience in the mid-'90s, I was one of the delegations received
during a tumultuous period where it was year by year whether it was
going or not because of that one moment of disagreement between our
nations during the time. But I was able to go and was afforded an in-
depth and unique experience with the PLA for almost 17 days. In the
military sense, this continues at a very brisk level, and I think you
would be encouraged by that. Later this year, our vice chairman will
entertain the Guangzhou Military Region commander and the commander of
the PLA Air Force. We have a robust connection, even below the war
college level. Our command and staff college levels now meeting and
And most recently, we see quite a improvement or increase in the
number of what we would call functional exchanges, changes --
exchanges on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, some pretty
intricate meetings on pandemic influenza and disease, maritime safety
and military law. In fact, it was most fortuitous that one of our
last engagements on humanitarian assistance was just before their
recent disaster, and we had a good insight into what their plans were
and how they plan to respond to that and how we might couple to that.
So I don't want to take up too much of your time, sir, but I
would say that we continue a brisk interaction in the military to
REP. ORTIZ: Just one last question, if I may. You know, the
Olympics are coming up in less than a month -- the first week, if I'm
not mistaken, of August. Do you think that by working together, we
are prepared, because I know terrorism is everywhere. What insight
can you give me as far as being ready for the Olympics, because we are
going to have our athletes there as well and athletes from around the
world. Could you elaborate a little bit about that?
HASC-CHINA PAGE 18
MR. SHINN: We'd be glad to talk about this a bit more in the
closed session, if we may. I think for this -- for the open session,
we have worked -- we are working with the Chinese principally in areas
to provide, as you suggested, for the safety and security of our U.S.
spectators and athletes.
The Chinese have not requested a great deal or very much assistance at
all, in sharp contrast to, for example, the security that we've
offered in previous Olympics.
GEN. BREEDLOVE: Sir, if I could add too, I would echo that we
would be happy to talk a little bit about PACOM's plans in the closed
We do have some insight into China's preparation. As the
secretary said, they have made very little if almost no requests from
us. However we have been briefed and had some insight into their
preparation: over 100,000 police officers dedicated, 600,000 police
volunteers, 300,000 surveillance cameras. They've sort of laid out
some of the extent of their preparation to us.
And again sir, we'd be happy to talk a little bit more about
PACOM's plans when we go to closed session.
REP. ORTIZ: Thank you so much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REP. SKELTON: You'll note the five-minute lights or clocks are
not working. So do your best to stay within time limits, as you see
REPRESENTATIVE ROSCOE BARTLETT (R-MD): Thank you.
Mr. Secretary, you mentioned the Chinese emphasis on asymmetric
warfare. Of course, the most asymmetric attack on our country would
be a countrywide, robust EMP laydown. Whether or not the Chinese are
anticipating this might be divined from what they are personally
Are their weapons systems EMP-hardened? Do they have national
plans, which we do not have by the way, for dealing with the
eventuality of an EMP laydown over their country?
Of course, they are much less dependent than we are on an
infrastructure powered by electricity. What do we know, of their
weapons systems and their EMP hardening and of any national plans for
responding to a potential EMP laydown over their country?
HASC-CHINA PAGE 20
MR. SHINN: Thank you, Congressman.
We don't know a great deal about this subject. We'd be glad to
share with you what we do know, in a closed session, in more detail.
But it is extraordinarily important that you bring it up, because it
is one of several examples of asymmetric warfare that we need to deal
You, I think, referred to it in your remarks. The consequence of
EMP is that you destroy the communications network. And we are, as
you know, and as the Chinese also know, heavily dependent on
sophisticated communications, satellite communications in the conduct
of our forces.
And so whether it's from an EMP or it's some kind of a
coordinated ASAT effort, we could be in a very bad place if the
Chinese enhanced their capability in this area. REP. BARTLETT:
You mentioned satellites. They, of course, are
the weakest link in communications, unless they're hardened, and we
have very few hardened. I think about 97 percent of all of our
military communications move over non-hardened satellite links, so
this is an enormous vulnerability.
The Chinese are aggressively scouring the world and buying oil.
We are not doing that. And I suspect we're not doing that because in
today's world it makes no difference who owns the oil. He who comes
with the dollars at the auction block buys the oil. So why would
China be buying oil? And they are very aggressively buying oil, and
not just buying oil. They're buying goodwill. Would you like a
soccer field, hospitals, maybe roads?
At the same time that they're doing that, they are very
aggressively building a blue-water navy and emphasizing submarines.
And last year -- and I get various numbers, but they launched from
several to many times as many submarines as we launched last year.
That would be necessary, of course, to protect the sea lanes if you
were going to claim your oil and not share it with the rest of the
Do you think that these two actions on the part of the Chinese
are linked -- their aggressively buying oil around the world and their
aggressive pursuit of a blue-water navy?
MR. SHINN: They may be linked, although we don't know. This
comes to the capability and intent question in a pretty profound way.
But your -- I mean, your observations obviously are correct on both
counts in the sense that the Chinese government has pursued energy
properties, oil and gas, with an emphasis on direct investment and
attempted control over those resources to a fairly sustained degree
and, again, in quite contrast to our reliance upon fungible global
REP. BARTLETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REP. SKELTON: Thank you. As I mentioned a few moments ago, the
clocks in front of us are not working. The one I have up here is not
working accurately. So I'm doing my best to guess at five minutes
without a clock.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 22
REP. GENE TAYLOR (D-MS): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Shinn, are you a political appointee? I'm over here, sir.
MR. SHINN: Yes, sir.
REP. TAYLOR: I'm curious, what is the Bush administration's
interpretation of our commitments to the nation of Taiwan to defend it
against a cross-strait invasion, should there be one? Has that policy
ever been articulated by the Bush administration?
MR. SHINN: I believe it's been articulated on a couple of cases
by our secretary and most recently, I think, publicly by Deputy
Secretary of State Negroponte.
REP. TAYLOR: Okay. And what did he say?
MR. SHINN: Which is that we will fulfill our obligations to
Taiwan under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act.
REP. TAYLOR: Okay, how about a clarification for the American
public? What is that obligation?
MR. SHINN: Our obligation, as I understand the Taiwan Relations
Act, sir, is to provide the Taiwanese with such weapons systems as may
be required to provide them with defensive capabilities in the face of
a threat from the mainland.
REP. TAYLOR: Is that a commitment of American troops, American
ships, American aircraft, or is that a commitment of equipment? And
this all -- really, I'm going into the what-if category. What if
April Glaspie had told Saddam Hussein, "The Bush administration will
defend the Kuwaitis"? So very clear reason for this question, so
let's be real precise in your answer, sir.
MR. SHINN: To be very precise and to be very clear, Congressman,
there has been no change on the part of this administration.
REP. TAYLOR: Okay, so for the, no, but for the benefit of the
American people then, what is this administration's interpretation of
a long-standing commitment or lack of commitment? What exactly does
MR. SHINN: Our policy, to be very precise, sir, is based upon
the, as you know, the One-China policy, the Three Communiques with
China and the Taiwan Relations Act. And we continue with that policy,
REP. TAYLOR: No, for the sake of the American people, because
there's a lot of confusion out there, so why don't you articulate it
as you understand it?
MR. SHINN: The policy, as articulated by figures much more
senior in the chain of command than me, sir, including the Secretary
of State and the Secretary of Defense, has been that our policy
towards the defense of Taiwan has not changed; that we continue to
fulfill our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act; that we oppose
efforts, by parties on either side, to change the status quo, as we
REP. TAYLOR: Is it a commitment of materiel? Is it a commitment
of American warships? Is it a commitment of American troops? What is
MR. SHINN: We have committed to, as obliged by the Taiwan
Relations Act, to provide the Taiwanese with such weapons systems as
may be required to oppose military coercion by the Chinese and by the
REP. TAYLOR: So you're talking equipment, not people.
MR. SHINN: The Taiwan Relations Act is principally focused on
equipment. Yes, sir.
REP. TAYLOR: No, I thank you very much for that answer.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 24
REP. SKELTON: Mr. Secretary, you made that perfectly unclear.
I'm trying to go back in history. And you're going to have to refresh
my recollection. Did we not, at one time, have our Seventh Fleet
stationed or at least partially stationed in the Taiwan Straits?
MR. SHINN: As the chairman knows, yes, sir, historically.
REP. SKELTON: When did that end?
MR. SHINN: I don't actually remember when it ended, sir.
REP. SKELTON: Can you ask somebody behind you when that ended?
MR. SHINN: I think we're huddling, sir, to compensate for our
lack of historical memory.
REP. SKELTON: This is not medieval history. This is just
When did that end? When did the Seventh Fleet stop patrolling
the Taiwan Straits?
MR. SHINN: I think, Mr. Chairman, and I would be glad to come
back with a more --
REP. SKELTON: Let's get that before the hearing ends, please.
MR. SHINN: Yes, sir. I believe, Mr. Chairman, that when we --
this all happened around 1979, when we abrogated the treaty with
Taiwan and entered into these relations with the PRC, with reasonable
confidence, but --
REP. SKELTON: Well, let's get that for us.
REP. WALTER JONES (R-NC): Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Secretary Chin -- Shinn, excuse me, how much does the fact that
we borrow billions of dollars from the Chinese government to pay our
bills -- how much does this, in your opinion, professionally and as an
American citizen -- this has got to somehow damage whatever leverage
we have with the Chinese, simply because we owe them over $447
billion. And they are smart people. We have a trade deficit with
China of over $250 billion.
I cannot believe -- and I'm not a professional in anything -- but
when you are trying to at one time, being the strongest economic
nation in the world -- talking about America -- and now we're having
to borrow money from the Chinese, I have to believe that this does
somehow put us at a disadvantage when we are trying to build
relationships with the Chinese military. Am I right or wrong?
MR. SHINN: Look, Congressman, I'm a little bit outside of my
lane on the balance of payments and the Chinese accumulation of
surpluses area. And we would defer to the Treasury Department, but
you're clearly right that China's sustained economic growth has
provided the wherewithal for this impressive military buildup that I
referred to in my opening remarks.
REP. JONES: So as long as we are a debtor nation, then --
because of that weakness in our economy, our government, then for
people like yourself, the negotiators of the future, both military and
non-military, we are not going to be seen as an equal to the Chinese.
I mean, am I reading this correct?
I'm not -- if you would answer that, Mr. Chairman, I'll yield
back. But I just don't know how unless we can somehow show the world
that we can get back on our economic feet, that we're going to be in a
position where we can do much more -- no more than just talk to the
Chinese and hope they'll work with us.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 26
Any response from the general or you on that?
MR. SHINN: Sir, I would be out of my lane to just speak to the
REP. JONES: Well, Mr. Chairman, I'm going to close by making
this one statement. I don't think you -- this, just to me, is very
simple, because the Chinese are not fearful of America because we are
too dependent on them to pay our bills.
And I, Mr. Chairman, regret that and hope that we as a Congress of the
future will do something about it.
REP. SKELTON: Thank the gentleman.
Mr. Larsen, to be followed by Mr. Forbes. And we're doing our
best to keep some kind of track of the time up here.
REP. RICK LARSEN (D-WA): Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Shinn, I, for one, think your answer on Taiwan was
perfectly adequate and appropriate. A little bit of ambiguity isn't a
bad thing. A question, though, if you can give us your thoughts or if
the DOD has some thoughts on President Ma's approach to mainland
China, and if that changes our calculus at all. In other words, we
can control things that we do, but we can't necessarily control some
things that either mainland China does or the Taiwanese government
does to enhance their own relationship. How is that effort that Ma is
undertaking to reach out to the PRC government changing any sort of
MR. SHINN: As I think I responded to the chairman's observation
on this point, it's certainly been a positive political development
that the Taiwan -- Taiwanese are engaged in what appears to be
constructive discussions or negotiations with Beijing. From what I do
for a living, from strictly the military and defense side of the
picture, it doesn't alter our focus on our job with respect to both
deterring coercion in that part of the world and responding to
possible changes in Chinese political intent over the longer run. I
was not trying to be evasive to Congressman Taylor's question. There
is some built-in ambiguity in our security relationship in Taiwan that
does serve a useful buffering function.
REP. LARSEN: General Breedlove, do you have --
GEN. BREEDLOVE: Sir, I would just add that, as you saw before
the elections, there was an increase in sort of what I would call more
bellicose exercising on the part of the Chinese along the coast
opposite Taiwan. And clearly, since we have come to governments now
that are a little less at tension, those exercises have tamped down
HASC-CHINA PAGE 28
and calmed down a little bit. And this is good. As the chairman has
mentioned and others have mentioned, this transparency and
understanding and dialogue is important in order that we don't have a
miscalculation of a military manner that is more likely because of an
exercise that is going on.
REP. LARSEN: Thanks. I think in terms of the communication
aspects, too, the establishment of the defense telephone link has been
an important step. It's one, you know, small tactical step as part of
a larger picture of engagement. And a term I picked up in Japan,
visited in January on a trip, was -- and this is from some reporters
-- Japanese reporters, the term they use is "hedge and integrate,"
which I thought might be an appropriate set of terms for us to use in
our relationship with China. That is, we want to integrate -- we want
to help try to integrate into the international system, be the
responsible stakeholder that Mr. Zoellick talked about. But we need
to hedge our own bets so long as there is this opaqueness to intention
and military modernization on the part of China. This government may
not like that response, but that is a very rational response for us to
And speaking of Japan, today a Japanese destroyer is visiting a
Chinese port for the first time since World War II. And I think it
underscores that although it's always all about us, that we see it as
a bilateral relationship, it's also a set of multilateral
relationships that we're merely a part of in that region.
Could you -- can you talk about Japan-China relationship relative to
the United States? And I see the lights are working, the yellow light
is on, so time's running short, you know.
MR. SHINN: It -- I think we'd agree with -- entirely with your
observation that the Japanese are a critical piece of this puzzle, and
in particular the alliance relationship with the Japanese is a key
part of this, as you described it, hedge and integrate -- I'm not sure
we'd use exactly the same phrase, but the policy of trying to shape
Chinese choices and -- but being prepared to deal with the
consequences if they make choices we don't like. And the Japanese are
a critical part of that. It's why we spend so much time on the -- as
I said earlier, I'm trying to adjust that alliance over time to deal
with expanding -- with a rising China in East Asia.
REP. SKELTON: You'll notice the light is working again. Did you
finish, Mr. Larsen?
REP. LARSEN: (Off mike.)
REP. SKELTON: Finished. All right.
REP. J. RANDY FORBES (R-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And
gentlemen, thank you for being here. I'm going to talk quick, since
that light is back on. But I want to tell you there's some good
things going on. First of all, your testimony today we appreciate.
We appreciate the good work Admiral Keating is doing.
And Mr. Shinn, you mentioned the -- I mean, the chairman's visit
to the 2nd Artillery Unit. We can't understate the importance of
that. He was the second American leader, after Secretary Rumsfeld, to
go in that unit. And I watched the discussions he had with their
leadership. They were very, very good, very productive. And I think
that was incredibly important.
My concern, though, is, we've been wrong a lot in the past. We
were wrong on their carrier program. We were wrong on their sub
program. We consistently underestimated their capabilities, and we've
only recently really talked about a lot their asymmetrical programs.
You mention the fact that they had a deliberate and well-thought-
out asymmetrical warfare plan. My concern is to make sure we have one
that's at least looking at that and defending it.
HASC-CHINA PAGE 30
And I know it's difficult. When we go to China, we know that
even when we're in our hotel rooms, they're filming everything we do.
I have no question everything we're discussing today, they've got
footage, they've got everything else and know exactly what we talked
about. We don't have the same luxury back there.
But we know from their public documents that they have a strategy
based on asymmetrical threats. They've talked about assassin's mace
publicly. We know also their efforts are well-developed. And I've
got three outlines of concern.
One, they're anti-access for naval ships. We know that according
to the -- our annual military power report, China's developed and
deployed eight of their last 12 diesel subs with Sizzler anti-ship
missiles. We also note from the media that they have an underwater
sound surveillance system that's been talked about publicly. That
helps them get -- fix sensors and pinpoint where our U.S. submarines