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tv   U.S.- China Economic Security Review Commission  CSPAN  February 20, 2020 9:00am-11:51am EST

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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> we are live on capitol hill this morning for hearing looking at chinese military capability and its potential to project military power and influence other countries. .. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the second hearing of the u.s.-china economic and security review commissions 2020 annual report cycle and thank you for joining us, especially to our witnesses for the time and effort that they have put in to the testimonies. you're going to be treated to some really, really good things here today. we'd also like to thank the house foreign affairs committee for securing this room for our use today.
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today's hearing examines china's ability to project military power and influence beyond its shores. and the implications of these growing capabilities for u.s. interests. in january, 2016, after communist party general secretary and central military commission chairman xi jinping reorganized the people's liberation army, this commission explored the push toward making the pla a force more capable of conducting global operations and i think commissi commissioner was the co-chair for that, too. and four years later we're examining what progress the pla has made in fulfilling chierm xi admonition of the military to protect china's national interest. now, as part of the
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commission's research, james is preparing a report on china's logistics capabilities for expeditionary operations and that should be published in about a month, we hope. this afternoon, you're going to hear from chad peltier, the lead author of the james report and he's going to discuss some of its main findings. that's panel two this afternoon, i think at 1:00. but let me just stop a minute and say, first of all, the sky is not falling. this is not kind of a chicken little exercise here. and the people's liberation army is not on the cusp of ruling the high seas or the air space above, but there have been pretty significant improvements in equipment, manpower and refined strategies that enable the pla to project force and potentially have
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basing or resupply points for its expeditionary force in various parts of the world. so today our distinguished witnesses will address these issues and with that, i turn to commissioner fiedler, my colleague and co-chair. >> thank you, doctor, and good morning, everyone. to our witnesses, i want to thank you for being here to share your insights on china's power projection and expeditionary capabilities. the recent history of china's military modernization is replete with underestimation. just as its march toward democracy is replete with exaggeration. the rise of all great powers requires them to develop the ability to project military power. there's little question that china and the rest of the world perceive china as a rising power. through the centuries, developing naval power was a necessity for all rising
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powers. today the exercise of military power is vastly more complicated and uncertain. there's little question that china's ability to marshal significant strength in its own neighborhood is significant. today we'll seek to better understand how china views its expeditionary capabilities. this will discuss involvement of military hardware, but perhaps more importantly our witnesses will also discuss the diplomatic, economic and political circumstances china seeks to create to build the foundation for a reliable power projection capability. we will also explore in this hearing and in others to follow, how china's strategy to be a world military power impinges upon u.s. national interests. thinking realistically about this now is critical to developing national security policies in this and in future
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decades. before we begin, i'd like to let everyone know that today's testimony and transcript will be posted on our website our next hearing model beijing's alternative of global norms and standards will be on march 13th. thank you again for joining us today and we'll proceed with our first panel. >> actually, before we start with our first witness, our chairman has a word to say. >> good morning. i just wanted to welcome our new commissioner, commissioner bob borekof from houston, texas is our last appointed member and we're delighted to have him on board and look forward to his contribution. >> our first witness today is going to discuss how the department of defense views the people liberation army's growing power projection and expeditionary capabilities and the implications for u.s.
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interest and global military operations. chad is deputy assistant secretary for china at department of defense and he's responsible for advising senior leadership within the department on all policy matters related to the development and implementation of defense strategies, plans, policies, and bilateral security relations for china. he is the first official to sit in this position following its creation in june 2019. previously, he served as the director of the china research group for the u.s. marine corps and he was a principal advisor on china to the deputy commandant, the marine corps for information and director of intelligence. he served as the deputy director of the china strategic focus group at the u.s. indo-pacific command and then it was the pacific command. and he served in beijing as a
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military attache and i think you operated the hotline there, didn't you? so thank you very much. we are going to try and hold you to about 10 minutes, questions and answers. >> commissioner wortzel and members of the commission, i'll focus on the china military power projection and what it means to the department of defense as it reorients to strategic competition with china. the bottom line is china represents the most formidable contemporary long-term security challenge for the department of defense and the united states government as a whole and that the people's liberation army's development of global expeditionary capabilities is a critical feature of the challenge. to meet this challenge the department has adopted long-term holistic strategies and policies to compete in
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peace time and if necessary, prevail in crisis or conflict. before i address the implications for the united states and what the department is doing to compete, we first must outline how china's military power projection fits into the communist party of china's strategy. it adopts a whole of nation strategy with political, economic and governance systems which all drive china's military modernization. it's important to point out that china construes its as subordinate which are designed to aattend a cpc goal of the great rejuvination of the chinese nation. as the white paper plainly asserts, building a fortified national defense and a strong military with the standing is a strategic task of the
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modernization. safe guarding china's interests, sovereignty and development is the goal of china's defense in the era, nine aims or perhaps what we would call missions. further, china's military strategic guidelines for a new era continue to adhere to a defense military strategy and established goal, strategic goals for the development of china's national defense and military and what they call the new era. first, to generally achieve mechanizization and greatly improved strategic capabilities. second to comprehensively advance the modern theory, military structure, military personnel, weaponry and equipment in step with the modernization of the country itself and basically complete the modernization which they would characterize as an informationized force of national defense by 2035. last, to fully transform the
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people's armed forces into worldclass capabilities by the mid 21st century. in light of this very rudimentary outline of china's defense and military, i will draw attention to a few key areas or elements that inform china's pursuit of a global expeditionary capability. first is the emphasis of the pla military strategy to support china's increasingly global development and security aspirations across the entirety of the spectrum of conflict. so steady state through crisis into conflict scenarios. second is as china contends in its own defense white paper, the global significance of china's national defense in its new era is its service in building the so-called community with a shared future for mankind, which is china's overall foreign policy goal and critical in china's efforts to revise the international system for its own national end-state. last is the role of technology
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that china contends is a defining future of future war and that's essential to setting global conditions and preparing advanced war fighting mechanisms or forms like intellectualized warfare. the sum of these strategic trends and implications of china's national agenda and the pla's global expeditionary capabilities are highlighted by four points. many more, but i'll highlight four. first is the cpc's aspiration to restore china as a leading power by every metric. maritime, space, cyber, diplomacy, cultural, science and technology and even think tank repower status and the pla's frame work to compete across the spectrum of conflict imply that the united states and allies and partners should prepare for china to set all doe mains and all global theaters against the united states and allied intervention in steady state advice
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conflict. and the national political system at home through myriad initiatives and abroad through imprinting its vision before global governance on others, it is fusing all elements of state power into whole of nation strategies and projects, as china every organ of power, across the u.s. interagency and among our alliances and partnerships will be intensified and exposure of weaknesses harder to depict. third, as china competes to revise the international order, especially security orders and regimes, as it promotes its own model of development and security, u.s. interests, shared principles and current security arrangements will be contested. our alliance-- our allies and partners will face pressures to balance between the two powers if we allow that to be drawn in that light, while u.s. influence access and maneuver space in all domains will face erosion
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unless we enmate our response. fourth, as china speaks for his global and development interest, not least of which is china's aim to resolve its integrity claims by force if necessary. allies and partners will face increasing tests of resolve, increasing to accommodate china's preferences to the orders and taxes on joint forces and u.s. alliance strategic resiliency. as an example that crystallizes the ammunitions is the significant expanse of china's expeditionary maritime forces, and marine corps which will compete across the spectrum of conflict and serve all the functions mentioned before. this capability to quote some chinese theorists is becoming a quote, shining business part for the people's army. in this context for the first
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time the united states can't answer an ally's call and china does, and if we suffer a loss. the pla's claim is here here and exemplified by the new marine commandant who a year or so ago reportedly and who reportedly passed global expeditionary forces for a strategic dagger that chairman xi can act upon. for influence on second if needed u.s. intervention. department of defense, however, has a concentrated long-term approach to china. this approach is codified in the national defense strategy and centers around three lines of efforts. first, we're building and deploying and lethal force, includes efforts to man, train, equip military services and
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their components by leveraging existing capabilities while fielding new platforms and technologies to prevail in the future fight, if necessary. second, we're strengthening alliances and partnerships to boltster key asymmetric advantages vis-a-vis china, to maintain a free and open indo-pacific with like-minded partners. and greater performance and affordability. the national defense strategy makes clear that competition with china does not mean confrontation, nor must it lead to conflict. the key part of the defense strategy is to maintain a stable, defense oriented relationship with china that promotes open channels of communication to prevent and manage crisis. reduce risk of miscalculation and cooperation where interests align. and the chinese modernization, however, may be profound. this is a long-term challenge that will require sustained
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funding and strategic planning to address. it will require an increase in regional and global investments as well as redoubling interagency and allied and partner efforts to maximize efficiencies and to unify. the bottom inliao, there is no zero cost solution to competition, global competition with china. the challenge from china is not a replica of that posed by the soviet union during the cold war. it warrants approaches defined by the unique features of the contemporary conditions and not necessarily just legacy rivalry. it is, you ever who-- however, equally consequential and merits the same as put forth in the past. the defense is posturing to meet the challenge and putting in place to compete in peace time and prevail in any area of conflict in china. thank you for your time and i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you very much. chairman cleveland has the first question. >> thank you for your
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testimony, it was extremely helpful. i'm not sure agreeing to answer any question is in your interest, but we'll see. i have a fairly narrow question. you mentioned that logistics enable the chinese to compete across the spectrum from steady state to full conflict and i think essential to any rising power, you have to have a backbone, but logistics are anchored at home and i was interested, i think commissioner wortzel pointed out two weeks ago, wuhan, which is the epicenter of this virus also hosts logistic support command headquarters. so, i'm curious how the logistics backbone in china is being deployed or used to support or address the internal
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problem when it comes to the spread of coronavirus. >> if they can't do it at home, i'm curious how they'd be able to deploy abroad. >> it's very clear, ma'am, thank you. a great question. i believe that we still do not have a complete picture yet exactly now the chinese are approaching its response to what's now cold covid-19 and in china. the dynamic is changing and we don't have all the details yet. it's fascinating to watch the initial outcomes of what they've done. one of which we've noted was a very early enjeks of -- injection of pla. and i think it's safe to say, earlier than in past practices have been particularly at the national level. so, as national mobilization systems have energized and built out. very early on was the pla. you saw them arriving on the
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scene and particularly with respect to that. and with the logistic support and the hubs in wuhan, i suspect that that's certainly an aspect that the chinese pla and the cmc leadership have leveraged in response here. it's no doubt that they're critically involved. the ramifications of the covid-19 across the forces is important and i don't know if we have the full depths of that yet, but certainly that ability to marshal its own mobilization and emergency response systems is-- bears greater scrutiny and further detail, i think. >> i think the other aspects of this i'm interested in, and again the commissioner's expertise can speak to it, in wuhan, you have important training in headquarters based in wuhan and i'm curious whether those services are getting privileged treatment in terms of-- but not a question for today.
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so you're basically saying as i'm hearing it that they have mobilizeded pla and logistics is a part of that. we just don't have a clear sense of what part of that, is that-- >> i think that's fair. there's certain aspects i'm sure we can't talk about here in this forum, but even just in watching the open source, is a very active and concerted efforts by how the pla and other chinese forces under the cmc are brought in to bear on this problem, early, often, rigorous. it's a reflection of a lot of national aspirations that they have and to the degree that they do this well or poorly, you know, at the end of the day, beyond the, you know -- the human sense of tragedy here and the difficulty and challenge that the chinese people are facing with this, at the end of the day, this will make the pla better. and-- >> or not. >> or not. >> thank you.
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>> mr. secretary, in your october 17th, 2019 testimony on china's maritime silk road, with respect to partners and potential partners, you've mentioned and discussed sharing our best practices for engaging with china with other countries. it's kind of a hand wave, you don't really go into those best practices. i wonder if you tell us what those best practices are? >> in terms of-- as i mentioned in my opening comments, the-- our out reach to china is multi-faceted and our interactions or response to how we compete with them, that includes defense relationship issues. so in taking stock the entire department leadership identified a set of principles by which we would reframe and
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reset how we approach china with defense contacts and exchanges. we've done so and did initial with the pla to find as we mentioned a constructive stable and results oriented defense relationship. those practices, as we codified them through documents with the defense department, we've shared those throughout the globe, with a means how we think about china, what we expect to see from them. when we talk about marshalling and unifying our allies and partners together, this is one of the techniques to do so and i think we've actually had very good success in doing that. outreach with allies and partners across the globe that have been reflective, we've listened to their feedback and we've helped form the process and in a lot of cases we've seen that advocate for the like product even within their own ministries of defense.
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>> commissioner. >> some years ago when we were first exploring chinese military modernization and/or in our hearings on taiwan we were focused on asymmetric capabilities of the chinese. when we discuss expeditionary capabilities we're talking more-- or perhaps talking more about conventional capabilities and our concern with asymmetric capabilities vis-a-vis taiwan, for instance, was that their ability to slow us down in response -- if we were to respond to any attack on taiwan. what does the defense department think about the expeditionary capabilities of asymmetric capability?
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am i -- that's my question first. >> that's a great question. i'll tell you, it's -- even in open source, if you listen to the chinese leadership, not just theorists or authors, but actual leaders of the chinese and i'll point to one in particular, the current leader of the chinese marine corps equivalent is a rear-- vice admiral, or rear admiral and when he talks specifically about the requirements for him and his force and as a broader pla effort is that they have to go global and they have to do this with expeditionary capabilities for the same reason that the united states has always valued those capacities. he talks about it clearly, definitively in terms of it being an all domain force. they'll look at asymmetric advantages to the exit ent-- extent that they have.
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it's not a niche capacity, it's all domain capacity particularly in the construct where they want to be which is a fully informationalized force. in that light, there is a very clear dynamic that's changing in terms of how the chinese transition from a mechanized force, which is a force bent or oriented on annihilationist practice to one of informationalized capacity which levers high-tech capabilities and integration and is defined by a systems confrontation rather than yus pure annihilation, is that change now from moving from a continental capacity out to a force that can extend globally. it really does change the dynamics. i don't think that the pla have quite figured that all out yet, but they're pursuing that because what it means for them, i believe, that will bring to bear new asymmetries that they have not yet seen. i think for us, it should help form our our force, or you
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know, the new competition in the future is not the same acemeteries that we've faced in the past. >> that's right. >> there will be asymmetries perhaps on a global scale for global deployed and expeditionary forces and i'll only add and foot stomp this point i made in the comment earlier, not just for conflict. it's for steady state. steady state competition matters because of what the pla has for the overarching decisions. it's not just them defeating us in a high end conflict, that's part of it, but also you have the influence to change regional and security orders to lay infrastructure to be the backbone of support of one belt, one road projects and other kind of issues like that. >> what you're actually introducing, too, beyond military asymmetry is political asymmetry. one thing that's clearly
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different historically is going to be the role of space in the ability to project power, not just from their-- not even in an asymmetric sense, but in a fundamental sense. would you comment on sort of the defense department's view of chinese activity in space as it involves expeditionary capability? >> in the previous testimony we talked about china's maritime silk road and one of the aspects we drew out of there the linkages between the maritime silk road specifically and china's aspirations for a digital road. and this backbone which is massively enabled by space capacity certainly is a critical aspect. the future war fighting reports, the war fighting capacity is highly dependent on
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that and that's why china talk about seizing the heights of capacities or technologies because they see those as critical enablers. i think it's informing us in an important way, one of which, they have a choice like we do, which is you can find approaches which reduce or limit your dependency on that technology, it's very complicated, it's very expensive. it can be vulnerable at times, but they chose to deliberately not to do that and they didn't choose to invest in that and build out capacities and in turn, we have to look at where we make investments and what challenges that present to us and we are. >> thank you very much. i'll have another-- >> senator talent. >> thank you for being here. your testimony is very interesting. i have two questions. one of them is how, in your
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opinion, is the pla reorganization proceeding and how does it bear on this? you mentioned the joint logistics support force. i think that the need to push through and finish that reorganization and understand its implications is a substantial constraint on pla decision making. we haven't heard a lot about it much less any real analysis of how well it's going. so if you have an opinion on that, i'd appreciate it. the second thing is, if you can, i know since you're here representing the government you have to be careful about speculating, but every witness is going to testify today is going to say, and i think properly so, that they're shaping and sizing the pla in part to support their interests and investments abroad and that's a primary driver. you've said the same thing and i think ethat. can you give us a flavor of what that is likely to look like in actual scenarios?
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what does that mean? if you don't mind speculating a little. i mean, big investments, in a third world country, corrupting the leadership and then there's unrest against the leadership, are they going to send in the pla marines to support the government? give an idea of what you think that might entail. >> senator, thank you. both great questions. as for pla reforms and its reorganization, that we had an opportunity that we invited the pla to come and brief us on on last year's published defense white paper. they did so. it was a several day long dialog and discussion we had with them and i found some very interesting insights. i think they found our own questioning of them helpful. in fact, ask me to go around and share our own interpretation of what it is so that they could better -- others could better understand it. glad to do so and i told them they would not necessarily like
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what we said, but we'd tell truthfully as we could our own understanding. every is ongoing, as with the latest discussions i had with them. i was told by some of my pla interlo interlo interlockters this summer, and they have not updated their military strategy, but that's also on the horizon. i think it's important to reflect what they did in their defense white paper from last year, which is, helped clarify for me in great detail the difference between the line and block chart of organizational reforms in china and mistaking that for the entirety of what the reforms are. i think that in the chinese way that they view their own logic system for organizing principles is beyond just organizational charts. so as many analysts looked at organizational charts as a reflection of how chinese pla
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reforms are going, the fundamental aspect or the central update that they provide in their defense white paper was not the organizational changes, but it was actually what they call the policy system enactment, which is policy system in this case being a designation about how these organizations will now relate with each other. that's how they think about systems. so for them to say we've now made this leap from changing five principle or banner organizations and now we've got a policy how they're going to interact, it's important to understand that. it still seems absent in their own doctrine and strategy and layout is a very clear understanding of exactly how that organizational and policy system will direct and control forces beyond china's borders. they don't seem to have that yet. but they're certainly working on it and they understand the necessity to do so and the task and mission responsibilities to get after that problem. as for the second question,
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what does it look like in future scenarios? this is a very significant issue for the department and it's really informed us, as i mentioned, about our approaches through the national defense strategy. as you'll note, one of them was o our-- the interactions and collaboration with our allies and partners. as i talked to our allies and partners across the globe, we have to start talking about it in ways that start to go past traditional military only bounds. in this case, i'll highlight one that's certainly in the news very often, which is a lot of chinese technology capacities and what they're trying to do. and those traditionally would fall under economic or commercial lines of effort and increasingly have implications for security orders and processes for the united states to float troops through areas and to share intelligence and to share information and collaborate, to move things. if the chinese have the ability to partner and install its own
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infrastructure capacity through any of these technologies, those have profound implications and our own strategic, can we move, shape, unify? that by itself is something that's not directly a military issue, but does become a defense department issue. can i move things globally? can i react? can i find allies and partners? do they become under more coercive chinese approaches, do they become beholden to that? that's important for us and has informed the way we outreach and talk about that. and certainly you've seen -- you've heard or listened to secretary esper or others talk about this on a routine basis. >> commissioner. >> thank you very much for being here today. a comment and then a question. first i greatly appreciate the
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work that you and your team do. you personally and your team to fully plumb the depths of chinese literature and you said a minute ago when you directly questioned them on content on their white paper and other associated documents. i think this serves a huge value in our interactions, convey that we're actually paying attention that words mean things, in the past, idle statements could go unchallenged. they're looking at a person dedicated full-time to look at what they say and challenging them on it, so thank you. my question is, you talked at some length about and the steady state of competition we're in. using your own term i'd like to
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foot stomp this, i think it's urgent, daily, multi-dimensional. we face -- we must respond on an urgent and daily basis and i think you spoke to this. so in that regard, if you can, what are the steady state challenges that you think are most pressing, that you think we ought to understand as we consider the challenges of chinese power projection more broadly? thank you. >> thank you. it's a great question. we need a lot more work here is the bottom line. i think it's easy at any time-- the defense department has a function to look at risk and to prevail at any conditions. i think increasingly what we're seeing, just preparing for a conflict with china or any nation in particular, that's just simply not enough because
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the competition with china is broader than that. so we have to kind of extend out how we think about competition from the defense department to cover the entirety of the totally of the spectrum of conflict and the best gauge of that, frankly, is as we read the chinese daily, what xi jinping has told to his own pla, to concentrate on preparations for war. preparations, setting conditions, being prepared if the time comes as he can deploy them as needed, but that means that they have to be out and about, that they have to set conditions, they have to form partnerships, they have to establish overseas facilities and we have to think about in competition, too, that's ultimately is, if you're prepared there you'll win. if you're not, you'll lose. and so it's not about waiting or defining the best spots in the conflict scenario. the conflict scenario is in steady state. so this artificial bifurcation we've had in the past of steady
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state is one campaign and effort and conflict separate. i think that those lines are starting to be eraised and you're seeing certainly on the chinese side and i think increasingly on the united states side, is one seamless continuum of spectrum of conflicts. i think certainly the secretary understands that very clearly. and it's about us marshalling that. and that hopes up apertures understanding what it means, when we interact, partner, train, when we have security cooperation with partners around the globe, that's part of competition and it's part about setting conditions to prevail if necessary. >> commissioner lewis. >> thank you. thank you very much for your testimony today and for presenting the administration viewpoint. most of the people that have made presentations to us have expressed the view that in
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order to confront china diplomatically, politically in every way, we need allies. and it seems also from our reading that our five major allies in the pacific, japan, korea, australia, thailand and the philippines has as their number one trading partner china. china obviously talks about taiwan being a break away province. what is china doing to get those countries to switch allegiances from taiwan or even relations with taiwan to china? and secondly, the second question i have is what is the u.s. doing-- second question is were we surprised, was the defense department surprised by what the philippines recently did a couple of days ago in terms of our relationships, military relationships with the philippines and what are we doing to change their attitude towards us? >> in terms of the first
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question about switching relationships, our treaty allies and our other allies and partners in the indo-pacific are very strong and robust. i think the overall characterization would be lengthy. i think we have longstanding and in a lot of cases, increasing collaboration and interactions with them. there's certainly concern about changing recognition, which is a little different issue and doesn't really involve our standing allies right now, but that's the challenge for us. the thing i would-- what i can comment about on that and to go into the second question about the philippines, which is it's a competition. china is competing, they're trying to draw these out. i don't think that there's much risk necessarily particularly for the military alliances that we have long-term because of
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the treaties that we have, but also, we have to be very clear-eyed that these countries are becoming under increasing pressures from many different lanes. economic and political pressure, coercion, that's a fundamental condition of the strategic environment that defines this challenge for us, this competition in ways that we haven't faced in the past, so it's going to take innovative approaches of how do you talk about that? and i'll give you an example. when we raised about talking about other nations about how absorption of chinese technology will be a security risk, one of the issues, we have to find a compelling argument, i think we do, is to say absorbing chinese technology is a security risk. the so the bottom line in this case, chinese technology may be, in terms of a cash register, cheaper than an alternative, but you know, there's a compelling argument that we have to help make with them is to say, listen, you
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have to look at the aggregate of all of the costs, including security cost. what's the cost to access to political coercion, to having to better manage your systems so that there's not penetrated or abused. there's really other costs here, so, i think understanding that competition as a whole of nation competition and all the different facets and features by which that impacts u.s. dod equities and interest, we're going to have to continue to build that up. and i certainly agree, it's a defining feature about what the contest is, certainly in the nations on the periphery of china. >> in the philippines, i can't talk necessarily about to necessarily the nature of that discussion, that's really not in my area, how it is in my area, there's a very clear recognition that china is putting pressure and using every tool within its disposal to try to draw those countries off, to provide incentives or
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disincentives to them to take actions even in the worst case would be having them be more, you know, to sit on the fence and not to be as collaborative. that's a condition we're taking head-on that's very serious for us. >> can you comment at all on the philippines aspect? were we surprised what they did and how it will affect our relations with them in the future? >> i think it's probably better to let the others responsibility for that specific defense relationship, but in terms of our understanding of how china pursues this is not a surprise. this is something we anticipate. we know it's going to get harder in the future. as china's capacity builds out you'll see more. and our idea is to prevent them proactively. so-- >> senator goodwin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for your time.
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as a follow-up to senator talent's question and as we'll get into it later today we're going to examine some of the ration rationale and development of some of these capabilities. >> i think that senator talent's alluded to some of the growth and development of these capabilities in no small part to protect the citizens overseas. and i'm curious for your reaction. i think if you take that sentiment that's logical extreme, it could be characterized as just the inevitable outgrowth of their economic growth. as their economy grows, they're increasingly involved with other trading partners around the globe. they'll want a force interested in people overseas. but as you suggest, just in your answer to commissioner lewis, it's broader than that. it's not simply an ancillary
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components of these efforts, but rather a whole of nation for the security development, and at home and the lake. and you indicated that bri itself is a strategic program with strategic objectives and strategic implications for the partner countries. so i'd like your reaction to that and also, i want to ask you how important is it for us to properly and thoroughly examine the motivations between the development of these capabilities to properly assess the implications? >> well, that's a great question. and it really starts, and i mentioned this in the comments, which is first and foremost, it's the development of this capacity to develop, to produce or to attain what china calls the worldclass military, is a strategic task of socialist modernization. so, it's a component. it's a requirement for them to
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attain their national end state as a reflection of that. for the second part of the question, i think that that's really valuable. we are a spending a lot of time and effort within the department and certainly within my team and our experts that we interact with, i think it's absolutely essential that we accurately characterize the motivations and drivers about why china is building this capacity. so, you know, we understand at a national level it's a component how china defines its long-term goals, but there's other drivers and if you-- i think that there's a great risk in being one dimensional and saying that they're doing this because of the singular reason. first of all, that's clearly not how the chinese talk about it. it's multi-facetted and if you look at it in a one dimensional way such as they're only doing it to help safeguard their economic interest or they're
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only doing this to help develop in part a different or a revised international order or if they're only doing it just for pure military reasons to put themselves in a position for success in terms of conflict with, as their euphemism is powerful adversaries, the united states. if you only look at one of those, what you can do, develop campaigns and policies and strategies that are insufficient and don't compete or-- with the comprehensive nature of what all of what they're doing, so i do think it's absolutely essential and i agree with you. we take as big a stock of all of the rational for why they're doing it because it is multi-facetted. first of all, that exposes weaknesses and challenges that they have and also make sure that we don't overlook or have gaps in our own perceptions what they're doing and how they're doing it. >> do you think the partners around the globe and bri are
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taking that comprehensive view? >> i can't say that there's any particular nation or entity that has mastered this perfectly in its entirety. i can tell you that we're working on it very hard. i know that we learn often from our allies and partners that they see unique features and aspects of what we overlook. we're sharing with everybody as broadly as possible how we perceive this. it's a dynamic condition and in that case, china is not monolithic and static. every time you get better and make a better pitch and get a better understanding as you formulate a better campaign, response or policy, china is also reacting to that as well. so, it's a-- it's wrong to think about that there's a singular solution and then once we kind of discover that formula, we'll all be rich and successful and the stability will reign. this is a process, it's a
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long-term competition of which we have to be agile and smart and attentive and dynamic to it and that's secretary esper's guidance is crystal clear, to understand the long-term competition and be dynamic. in his words to focus the department in china and to sustain that focus to undergo and to deepen our understanding to attain organizational adaptation and systemic transformation of the department in the manner in which it's fundamentally and irreversibly contends-- or competes with china as needed. >> thank you. >> commissioner bartholomew. >> thank you very much and thank you for both appearing here today, and also for your
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service. we all appreciate it. i'm just interested, as listening to you talk about the whole of government approach, that the government of china has, i know you're in the dod lane, but we have to make recommendations to congress and i wondered if there's anything that you could suggest that congress could or should be doing to facilitate a whole of government approach on the part of the u.s. government. >> you know, annual submissions, bugetary requirements and other support in those lines, i'll go past that because those should be self-evident. those come from the department and i don't think i can add to them. it's not my specialty. but i will provide interesting insights as we think about what the commission can recommend and it really comes from our increased capacity within my team now. we have a capacity. we have a director for global outreach whose mission is to
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expand into global partnerships, governmental and nongovernmental-- governmental. as we expand those out we've had interested lessons learn, one from a trip we made to the european union or several nations in the european union in europe and one of them was talking to their own legislative staff. and it was essentially, it was a plea for help, help us understand this problem. how do we motivate, how do we socialize and marshal attention to these problems, within the legislative bodies. and so, i think that that's an aspect of maybe unique to ask congress to do something other than resources, but their function and role as whole of nation as well of being somebody who can advocate and promote for better and deepening understanding of china with its counterpart and i think that that's a critical role. as i was talking to
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commissioner wortzel earlier, this body itself is an example of a whole of nation trying to contend or compete with the challenges it faces. are there other bodies like this and other nations? if not, why not? and if so, what's the collaboration like. i think those are other kind of nontraditional things outside of the dod lanes that would be value-added here is to help broaden and deepen that as a whole nation. i do receive that quite often. you know, from other countries, but the people are just not there yet. the legislatures are just not there yet. so there's only so much we can do from the defense department side. there's other elements here that can help advocate for this. >> thank you. >> i'm going to take a second, if i may to follow up on this. what struck me is that, i'm not sure whether you're reaching out as an office or a department. i mean, mechanically, are they
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seeking help from the department of defense or are you working with the state so it-- and the embassies in those countries to get these dialogdi. we wrestle sometimes with the china commission, what business do we have going to europe or latin america. but it strikes me that these trips of valuable and ultimately even if your office is initiating these things, you're not doing that without working with state and an embassy. >> you know, i could speak to the areas that i concentrate on in china and my partnership with my counterparts at state and multiple areas as the national security staff, across other elements of the united states is good and getting better. so there's nothing we do that's not in collaboration with that. internal to dod, my portfolio is not responsible for nation
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-- for example, nations in europe. i have to work with my counterpart to do that. it's that kind of unity, effort of coming together so when we do these other trips it's fully in concert with that, it's an orchestration and it takes a lot of work. it's things we just haven't had to do in the past. so it takes more effort. it takes more resources, work force employment. there's a lot of extra investment of time and capabilities that we just haven't had in the past so it's hard, but almost to a person, everybody is very receptive to this and knows we have to get out of this problem. it's vital for us to do so because it's not just about, you know, sharing with others what our own perceptions are, but it's actually learning what their conditions are and understanding that. and i think that that's been tremendously valuable to say how are they perceiving this and what are the impacts that they're seeing that we may not. there's deepening learning that we have going on with the
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chinese themselves, the pla and others and their think tanks and actors and also allies and partners to see how they're perceiving it. that helps us better calibrate our own approaches and frankly they have practices with other nations that are very effective and in some cases more advanced that are ours for a variety of reasons. so so-- >> i have a -- actually a couple of questions, but let me -- the chinese military decision making system and coupled with the lack of real combat experience among its leadersh leadership, what do you see in terms of problems for them in understanding expeditionary capabilities?
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it seems to me on one level we're talking military academic ideas is what they have, watching us, watching others, but they lack real experience and i would argue that piracy operations and-- don't give them that experience and that decision making dynamic is when it hits the fan, you know, what's going to happen. do we think they have capable leadership? >> not a personal fan of the chinese system, frankly. i prefer ours. >> i don't think theres' many people in this room-- >> i don't either. i don't have a lot of confidence rit large in a strategic sense. that being said, is-- of all the conflicts we have in the current force in our own
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capacities, there's cautions, prudent cautions, even to the degree that we have our own capacities and capabilities well-sharpened over the entirety of our experience is -- is the strategic caution of nobody's ever fought a great power competition in the contemporary era and what that looks like. so, i think it's always best to just say, you know, be careful about overextending what our own expectations are of ourselves. we've not fought a large, large scale or a high intensity fight with a major power in the contemporary era. so while china has not either, neither have we. now, i think we'll get there and be sharper and better. at the same time coupled with that is at least on the chinese eyes how they're looking at the future of warfare. they're looking at it as a form or a mechanism of being a different type of warfare.
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even to the degree that we're very good or adept at fighting how we fight now, does that translate perfectly or 100% into forms of fighting future war fairs based on high technology or in their own characterization, in a systems confrontation or a systems destruction style of war fighting. in that light we do not have great experience fighting somebody using that style of approach. there's a lot more to learn here. i think we have to be prepared and essentially that's the whole purpose of the defense department to take stock, deep stock and scrutinize what any potential adversary is doing and make sure we're prepared to ideally deter that and if incapable of doing so, to prevail in conflict. >> let me just add one question while we have you. it seems to me that we have a long history of allied relationships.
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we may at the moment have some pickups in those relationships. they don't have a long history about allied relationships with, how do i say this without being belittling, meaningful countries. so the question becomes, even in-- and especially in expeditionary capabilities, whether or not they can depend... >> that's a great question. the first thing is it's very clear the chinese current
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foreign policy framework, the major power diplomacy, in the new era which is coupled with its chinese theory, international relations theory, those working in conjunction are extremely clear they reject alliance structures as a form of international system. what they favor a strategic partnerships to form with the call a global partnership network by which they hope the international system operates. within that though it does have the vocations potentially, which is one is not having the obligatory or compelling requirement or defense, collective defense, but certainly it could put, make them vulnerable to not having access in times when they really needed. there's things they're trying to do to mitigate that. one is established as all defense white paper says, is new mechanisms for security cooperation. when asked what those new
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mechanisms work, in this case as a specific meaning, i think, an actual process, and interaction. that concept is they just haven't felt, they know they need new ones but you also see different forms of security cooperation that they've learned from watching us, observing us. shortfalls and benefit from having those. you'll see new patterns of security cooperation globally but also in terms of the application and forces they develop, it's evident the fourfold increase in their marine corps capacities have been added benefit of having less dependency than land-based forces you would have to deploy overseas. other long-range tools such as long-range air forces and other kinds of ballistic missiles and hypersonic missiles, long-range missile capacities and cyber space capacitors which are not dependent upon any sovereign issues at times. in all those fields you will see them bring to bear new
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approaches and new capacities, some probably look very familiar and others very innovative, to try to tackle the problem but it won't be based on trying -- as they claim should not be based on the necessity to form alliance capacities. >> commissioner cleveland. >> thank you. i want to build off those questions. you just mentioned a fourfold increase in marine capacity. i'm curious about census is about logistic forces, how you see investments, budget investment, resource investments and expeditionary logistics capacity relative to the rest of chinese military priorities. that's the first question. in terms of building relationships, i am interested in the fact that the chinese now represent 15% of contributions
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to the u.n. peaked a budget i think around that. -- pto -- i'm curious how the host governments feel about the deployment of chinese forces complex the nature of the relationship and what value you see as the chinese gaining in terms of military operational lessons learned from those peacekeeping operations? >> can you repeat the first question for me to make sure i -- >> sorry. we're talking about and expeditionary logistics forces and you mention this fourfold increase in the marine capacity. i'm curious how expeditionary and logistic forces compared to six strategic rocket forces or to other investments that the chinese are making. is this a top priority in terms of budget and resources?
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is it an medium priority? how does it fit in in your assessment of what matters, which is where they are putting their money? >> yeah, it's very evident -- i don't have the technical details to offer exactly what all their nuances are in the budget. that's just not -- i wish i did. i'm not that smart. i don't have that capacity. what is very clear, very, very clear is that the requirement from the leadership is to develop a force that's capable, ultimate as an agent as a world-class military force and a yardstick by which the measure that is the united states. at the end and ideally for that is having the capacity to prevail in conflict with the united states. that's their yardstick. everything else is a supportive in hope and ideal for them to maneuver and, globally and to do all the other requirements they
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have, while they're developing this force but at the end of the day that is their facing issue is united states. and i think, i i raised that because there's a little bit of a risk, china will come out and about but it going to do as their own words say, these contributions to the global environment with a jdr and other kinds of seemingly or ostensibly helpful contributions. some of which may be but by no means is that the priority. the priority is developing the force that's capable of preventing with conflict with the united states. as for pko and other activities that this globally, yes, that concerns me. i think ideally is we would all prefer the pla stays all within china cup that accepts the dust have major threat to it that it provides contributions to the global environment consistent with that shared values of the
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court order and system and partners, but that's just up the rally that we have. and so the truth is we have to contend with what china is trying to do, identify those areas in which the interests do not align or the approaches are inimical to ours and figure out what we're going to do about but it is a contest across the global space and with all of her allies and partners. the chinese are certainly getting significant advances to that. it's difficult to characterize the degree but but i know it it zero. >> do you see them as walk many countries where they are serving in peacekeeping clue blue helmd capacity? we're going to have a hearing on china's role in africa and they seem to have taken up a number of leadership positions in operations in countries where they have economic investments. i'm just curious about the dynamic in terms of whether they are viewed as welcome neutral supporters peacekeeping arrangements or they argued as
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present for the own interests? >> it would be hard to measure that but certainly the characterization would be almost by incident or over a period of time. the fact that they do and they can sustain those is a reflection of china's own military diplomacy and overall diplomacy to make those conditions happen. i would add to that is, there's an integrated approach they use that the u.n. support or peacekeeping operations under you and authority is important. it's legitimizes their own deployments but the other deployments that are not under those the auspices certainly have whole of government efforts. there is commercial and diplomatic and economic and political and cultural activities that help support and abdicate for the basing or station got pla forces in those other countries. >> we close at 10.10, so fairly
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quickly. i want to thank you, secretary sbragia, for being here. and i guess, is there anything you would like to say that hasn't been asked and wasn't in your testimony? did we stimulate something in this questioning that you would like to say now? >> commissioner wortzel, i just want to say thank you. i'll tell you this topic is of particular interest to me. i was very thankful for this. of all the issues i have to work on in terms of competition with china, this is the one that concerns me. it's high on my priority list because i think too often we can get caught up to thinking about china and we only envision china or we envision just on the periphery of china, win if we are doing what we're supposed to
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do which is think of a long-term strategic competition with china we have to understand where china is going to be long-term, its claimed aspirations of thiss is a top of the gets us that in great detail i just want add key. it's the right topic, it's where we are focused on and not just the things that are right in front of her face so i appreciate the opportunity to share our views. >> well, thank you very much and we think secretary esper for having you here. it's always great to have somebody from the administration able to set out policies. thank you. we're going to adjourn until 10:20, and then we'll reconvene another panel. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> they are taking a recess in this daylong discussion of china's military capability. this is the first of several breaks they expect to take. able last about ten minister in the meantime we will show you remarks from earlier in this conference. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the second hearing of the u.s.-china economic and
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security review commissions 2020 annual report cycle. and thank you for joining us, and especially to our witnesses for the time and effort that they put in to the testimonies that you're going to be treating us to some really, really good thinking today. we would also like to thank the house for affairs committee for securing this room for our use today. today's hearing examines china's ability to project military power and influence the on its shores. and the implications of these growing capabilities for u.s. interests. in january 2016, after communist party general secretary and sent to military commission chairman xi jinping reorganized the people's liberation army, this commission explored the push towards making the pla of force
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more capable of conducting global operations. and i think the commission was a culture for that one. four years later is examining what progress the pla has made in fulfilling chairman cheese admonition to the military to be able to protect china's international interests. now, , as part of the commissios contracted research, jane's, is preparing a report on china's logistics capabilities for expeditionary operations. and that should be published in about a month, we hope. this afternoon you're going to hear from chad peltier who is the lead author of the jane's report, and is going to discuss some of its main findings. that's panel number two this afternoon i think at 1:00. but let me just stop a minute
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and say first of all, the sky is not falling. this is not the kind of chicken little exercise here. and the people's liberation army is not on the cusp of rolling the high seas or the airspace above. but ever been pretty significant improvements in equipment, manpower, and refined strategies that enable the pla to reject force and potentially have a sink or resupply points for its expeditionary force in various parts of the world. today, are distinguished witnesses will address these issues, and with that i turn to commissioner fiedler, my colic and culture. >> thank you, doctor wortzel and good morning, everyone. to our witnesses i want to thank you for being here to share your insights on china's power projection and expeditionary capabilities. the recent history of china's military modernization is
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replete with underestimation. just as its march towards democracy is replete with exaggeration. the rise of all great powers requires them to develop the ability to project military power. there is little question that china and the rest of the world perceive china as a rising power. through the centuries developing naval power was the necessity of rising powers. today, the exercise, exercise of military power is vastly more complicated and uncertain. there is a little question that china's ability to marshal significant military strength in its own neighborhood is significant. today, our hearing was seek to better understand how china views its future expeditionary capabilities. this will involve a discussion of military hardware, but perhaps more poorly our witnesses will also discuss the
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diplomatic, economic and political circumstances china seeks to create to build the foundation for a reliable power projection capability. we will also explore in this hearing and others to follow how china's strategy to be a world military power impinges upon u.s. national interests. thinking realistically about this now is critical to developing national security policies in this and in future decades. before we began i would like to let everyone know that today's testimonies and transcript will be posted on our website, next during a china model beijing promotion of alternative global norms and standards of the on march 13. thank you again for joining us today and we will proceed with our first battle. >> action before we start with our first witness, our chairman has it were to say.
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>> good morning. i just want to welcome our new commission, from houston, texas,, is a last and final appointed member. we are delighted to have him on board and look forward to his contributions. >> our first witness today is going to discuss how the department of defense views the people's liberation armies growing power projection and expeditionary tape abilities and the implications for u.s. interests and global military operations. chad sbragia is deputy assistant secretary for china at the department of defense and he's responsible for advising senior leadership within the department on all policy matters related to the development and implementation of defense strategies, plans, policies, and bilateral security relations for china. he is the first official to sit in this position following its creation in june 2019.
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previously he served as the director of the china research group for the u.s. marine corps, and he was principal advisor on china to the deputy commandant for the marine corps for information, director of intelligence. he served as the deputy director of that china strategic focus of group at the u.s. indo-pacific command, but then it was the pacific command. and he served in beijing as a military attaché, and naval attaché, i think operated hotline there, didn't you? thank you very much. we are going to try and hold you to about ten minutes to leave room for questions and answers. >> commissioner wortzel, commissioner fiedler, distinguish members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today. my testimony will focus on health implications of china's
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military power projection and what this challenge means to the department of defense as it reorients to strategic competition with china. the bottom line is china represents the most formidable contemporary long-term security challenge for the department of defense and the united states government as a whole, and that the people's liberation army's development of mobile expedition to give of those is a critical feature of the challenge here to meet this challenge the departments adopt a long-term holistic strategies and policy to compete in peacetime and if necessary prevail. crisis or conflict. before i address the implications for the united states and what the department is doing to compete, we first must outline how china's military power projection fits into the commons power of china's overall national strategy to the communist party agenda adopts a whole of nation strategy that uses political economic and governance which i'll drive china's military modernization. it's important to point a china construes its military strategy as subordinate to china's
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overall national development and security systems and strategies which are designed to attain the cpcc goal of achieving the great rejuvenation of the chinese nation. as china's latest defense white paper plainly asserts, building a fortified national defense and a strong military commensurate of china's international standing and its interests is indeed and, in fact, a strategic task of china's socialist modernization. safeguarding china's interests,, sovereignty, security and development is the fundamental goal of china's national defense in the new era which includes nine specific national defense aims or what we would perhaps call missions. further, china's military strategic guidelines for new era continue to adhere to it active military strategy and established strategic goals for the development of china's national defense and military and what they call the new era. first to to achieve
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mechanization by the year 2020, will significant hands -- >> belt and road initiative as a vehicle for testing and justifying these capabilities. we will start this morning with admiral dennis blair, chairman of the board and distinguishing your fellow at sasakawa peace foundation. admiral blair served as a member of the energy security leadership council and the board's of freedom of the national bureau of asia research, national committee u.s.-china relations and the atlantic council. previously served as director of national intelligence from january 2009 to may 2010. an prior to to retiring from the navy, in 2002 after 34 years he was commander of u.s. pacific command. admiral blair will provide testament on the drivers of china's development of expeditionary capabilities. after admiral blair we will hear
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from kristen gunness, chief executive officer of vantage point asia, a consultancy that provides expertise on the indo-pacific region with a focus on china's foreign policy and security issues. she also holds a position of ajit seemed international policy analyst at rand. formally ms. gunness service director of the navy asia-pacific advisory group at the pentagon. and was a senior project director for chinese military security affairs at cna if she has written extensively on china's foreign policy, security and military affairs. she will address how -- thank you very much for your testimony and admiral blair, we will begi begin. >> good morning, commissioners and thanks for inviting me here. i think would probably be most valuable if i cut to the chase here. i think what you are concerned
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about is whether china, which concurrently assert the full range of power projection effects on its maritime frontiers, south china sea, east china sea, yellow sea, whether they can or will expand that capability elsewhere in the world and be able to bring the military dimension of coercive diplomacy to join economic and diplomatic activities, which it currently conducts. and i think it's useful to start by reminding ourselves of what power projection is. i would define power projection asserting political influence at distance through the use or the threat of use of military force. that's what we're talking about here.
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and so power projection has a range of levels from a single ship visiting bayport, now a ship visiting a port in the country is a bit different from beijing symphony orchestra visiting that country. it has an applied edge of hay, we can show up with military force in small numbers. we can have visit ship and give nights speeches but there's a stiletto under the glove. all the way up through height and the combinations of amphibious assault, air assault, global power, see control, air control to do it. now, , china has the full rangef power projection capability on their maritime frontiers. they have a plan and a capability for a full invasion of taiwan. they have use coercive diplomacy throughout the region, and candy and will they bring that out?
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i think it's useful to think in terms of two zones in addition to their maritime frontiers that affect china thinks in these terms. what is the area from say the middle east through southeast asia, south asia, and then there's the rest of the world beyond that. so maritime frontiers is south asia area and then the rest of the world. but do they have the ambitions or the capability to expand this capability out there? so let's talk about this, the area of south asia since it is an area of chinese focus. xi jinping signature foreign policy program, the belt and road initiative, is centered upon that region. they aim to make china a transportation hub for all
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economic activity going through that area and, therefore, have a tremendous amount of economic influence and then build other influence on top of that. what about the military influence within that, which is been relatively restrained to this point, the shanghai cooperative organization brings in a lot of those countries. we are familiar with the anti-piracy patrols that they have had 30 rotations of, establishing a base in djibouti. so what comes next? i think we do have to take seriously what the chinese say, and as you read their documents, the power projection appears nowhere in those documents. they are not talking about it. i don't think there some secret program that they are not talking about. i think they are not counting on it right now, but the history of chinese overseas missions has been that missions expand with expanding capability.
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so something that was not possible or talked about before becomes possible, becomes talked about capabilities grow. we have seen that in chinese areas so i don't think the lack of it being addressed is particularly significant. what about the real capabilities that are involved in power projection? right now for china get its forces into the indian ocean, into south asia, they have to pass, and to do that to international waters or air space with a don't need anybody's permission, they had to go through the strait of singapore, the strait of morocco, pretty narrow entries, both of them subject to interruption. what they really need to be able to have a a deployable, usable, high-end projection capability in that part of the world are a couple of bases.
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think of united states bases, the ones we used to have in the philippines. you are talking about ship repair, and airstrip, emanation emanations, supply storage, serious maritime projection base. the two candidates for that i would say that come out of the belt and road initiatives are the ends of the china myanmar economic corridor which ends in the myanmar port of -- i can never remember the name, and then the china pakistan economic corridor which ends in qatar right at the mouth of the persian gulf. if china could establish bases on those two keyboards with secure supply lines running on china they would have the basis
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for series projection capability in that part of the world. but there's some very major, tactical problems in achieving that. primarily, the attitudes of both myanmar and pakistan which heretofore have shown no desire to have chinese troops stationed in their country. in fact, they have been very careful about it. in mean mars case, cut back chinese influence. even if they did want to come when you look at those actual routes go through myanmar and pakistan they go through pretty ungoverned areas in which the governments of myanmar and pakistan don't really run the show right now, and those lines of communication to keep bases would be very much subject to interruption. the united states has a fair amount of experience in trying to put military installations into difficult parts of the world and it has not been a happy experience. so i think there some practical
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difficulties of there. oh, gosh, i'm out of time i think. what would i do about it? i'll make this very quick. i think the united states needs to concentrate its efforts in east asia where the challenge is direct. we have allies that china is trying to undercut our support you. china is trying to undercut china's america's air and sea space in the part of the world and make it with china's permission we need to keep building up the number and the capability of our forces there in order to enforce our rights, and that's mostly air and naval power, and keeping our alliances in good shape. that will not only protect strong interest we have in what is the economic center of the world, but in addition that will tend to focus chinese attention on that part of the world and tend to dampen their appetite
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capability and interest in going further. so let me stop there and we can go further in questions. thank you. >> thank you, cochairs, members of the commission and staff. it's an honor to testify here on china's expeditionary military capability. i was asked to focus on the belt and road initiative and the legal tools and security frameworks that china is using to justify the development and use of peel it expeditionary capabilities. as well as how peel my experience with overseas deployment is driving the development of this capability. i believe that was your question earlier. so beyond the motivations discussed in a previous panel and by admiral blair, china justifies the development of pla expeditionary capability in three ways. first, asian works to align the security interests of bri country with china's interest to gratian of security dialogue and
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frameworks for security cooperation. which provide a foundation for future military cooperation and potential expanded pla presence overseas. examples include china's efforts to protect bri projects through the cooperation organization which is focus on counterterrorism and protection of oil and gas pipelines in central asia. the quadrennial cooperation and coronation mechanism or the qc cm includes pakistan, afghanistan and china and provides a forum for military and security cooperation between those members. those are just a few examples of the type of security cooperation framework china is developing. second in 2015, china adopted a character is a lot of provide legal justification for the pla two overs -- diplomacy for counterterrorism missions. this law does not state china must receive permission of the host country prior to deploying. furthermore the language in the lot is kind of vague.
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counterterrorism missions can theoretically encompass threats to citizens, bri infrastructure projects and even threats to china's maritime interests such as overseas ports, , facilities and shipping lanes. the pla could hypothetically deployed overseas under the counterterrorism law to address many of these threats and contingencies. third, china cultivates the narrative that pla expeditionary capabilities to jupiter in national security. while this is not a security framework per se, it is a narrative that beijing uses to justify pla participation in overseas operations such as the u.n. peacekeeping missions, the gulf of aden counter piracy operations at the opening of the djibouti naval base which times, terry said was good for regional stability and that the facility allows china to contribute to international obligations. these are three ways chinese legal tools, , security from its and it is to justify the use of expeditionary capabilities.
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i was also asked to comment on pla overseas deployment and how the pla uses these are training opportunities for expeditionary missions. pla participation in peacekeeping operations counter piracy efforts and ha/dr to provide low risk training by this for chinese troops and the chinese talk about this a little bit in their literature. while the trading is likely insufficient for the types of larger scale expedition operations the pla might want to conduct an in the future it dos offer the pla a few benefits. first through u.n. peacekeeping missions the pla gains experience operating at a multinational force. other than exercise conducted by the spl the pla does have the rate of experience working with our commanding multinational forces in hostile environments. second, the gulf of aden counter piracy operations have allowed the pla to begin to iron out overseas logistics and clarify command-and-control for the deployed taskforces. although this is limited in these areas would still be charges for sure for the pla and
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larger overseas operations. and finally pressed the greatest benefit china and the pla get from these to plummet is that the helped of normalized china's military presence abroad. they contribute to china's influence through building security cooperation and military ties with local forces in house country governments and the support the narrative that appealing with a strong expeditionary capacity is beneficial to international security. although they do provide some diploma experience of the pla current overseas missions are relatively limited in scope and do not offer the kind of training the military would likely need for more complex expeditionary operations. furthermore, only a small percentage of troops and commanders have deployed to these missions so the rally as many of the pla expeditionary capabilities will be tested first time in a crisis. in conclusion, china will continue to use the defense of his global security interests along with security cooperation agreements and the
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counterterrorism laws to justify the development and use of its expeditionary military capabilities. one implication of this approach is that we should be prepared for a china that will consider the use of its overseas military power as a foreign policy tool. it doesn't eat a great deal of overseas military power to use it as a tool to influence things. this is already happening so the pla and the deployment to bri countries in africa, central asia and south asian argument china's economic and political influence in those regions and booze relations with countries where china's interest are growing. of course this also carry some risks for china as increased use of the military overseas may backfire and alienate some countries. following on this .1 recordation is to look for opportunities to shape china's use of its expeditionary military force overseas. this could include rallying u.s. allies and partners to back or coordinate with the chinese action when it is in the u.s. interest to resolve security issues. or it might include using the
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lack of foreign support for pla involvement to attempt to tip china's calculus in the direction of pursuing nonmilitary options. this would likely require increasing dialogue on the pla is expandable overseas between just combatant commands, defense and took met attaches around the world, and allies and partners. i think i stop there. thank you. >> thank you very much. commissioner kamphausen. >> admiral blair and ms. gunness, thank you so much for being here today, and thank you for your testimony. admiral, i have two questions for you. i appreciate your -- on the types of power projection how ought to think of this term which has very broad application, and so you added a great deal of clarity to this issue. in a way the first three types of examples of power projection activity as you say are already
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underway, the pla or china has already conducted them. in many ways this is comparable to the points that trent told me early. what a focus by questions on area of power projection -- that mr. sbragia told the early. the capable of the turn as developed during world war ii and maintain and used in the 75 year since, china is nowhere near developing this scale of power projection capability, and just like a couple of reasons. in your mind if you put yourself back when your commander-in-chief of u.s. pacific command, what would be the specific kinds of capabilities that would grab your attention to suggest that the pla was more interested in conducting this category of projection?
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>> i would not have anything terribly original there. i would say a buildup of amphibious assault capability, , whole lot of this type, 072 that they just built the first one, major exercises within china with airborne assault forces, and a tremendous thickening of the logistic support forces, primarily seaboard which is how you have to carry most of it there. and then on the political side as emphasized in my testimony, what the united states really uses when we do a big scale overseas intervention is we have an ally close by that we can flow into, , regroup, reorganiz, and then go into the battle zone.
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and is a china -- if china's relationship with pakistan or myanmar or one of the countries that they deal with and give a lot of aid to come again to take that turn, then i would become concerned those of the ones i would look for. >> thank you. and then in the second area in which your chest with mr. helpful if you talk about the zones. and chinese interest in protecting -- projecting power varies by zones, that the attention of the united states and our role in advising congress really should be to focus in the close in some of the maritime space in east asian letourneau. but there's also concern about what are the transition points from zones one to two and two to three? you spoke at length about zone to both the new testament and in your oral statement. but in zone three the most distance, maybe the most
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concerning over a long period of time, not imminently as you noted, would be the areas of europe africa, pacific islands use a china does not deploy near currently inspired to use military means in this region. what would be the transition points that would suggest to you as an observer that maybe this was changing? what would be the indicators to suggest that they were desiring of employing or aspiring to use capabilities in the outermost zone? >> i mean, american relations with europe, latin america, western pacific and so on are so strong that, although we suffer from neglect sometimes and, you know, we diss western pacific countries and don't come to their conferences and don't carry out our trustee duties and
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so on, the structure is all there and it doesn't take much for us to get back in the game and be pretty dominant. so i think the main indicated there would be sort of a lessening of american interests and concern and involvement in these parts of the world. these are ours to lose. if we screw up our relations with europe, with latin america and the western countries, we live in a vacuum and china can just vault in and make up for the deficit. so that would be, that would really be number one. and then as for the things that china itself could do, my experience is that economic influence, , however strong, dos not translate into control over another countries vital national security interests. countries try to keep them as separate as they can, but if it really comes down to a key decision, they will go in terms of national security every time,
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in my experience. especially if there's an aggressor who is just making life difficult for them. i think the united states just sort of has to keep good relations, keep up the military diplomacy that we are very skilled and practiced with. keep are part of the region, and china just won't see a wedge there that it can drive into and it will work on much closer, more vital to areas of its maritime zones and then the south asian thing we talked about. the just keep mining the store. >> thank you. >> i just want to add onto that. i don't think we should forget that china has a multilayered approach to developing security relationships overseas. in addition to the economic lever and the fact that they can use some other expeditionary capability, there's also tools
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like arms sales. so, for example, before opening the based in djibouti, there was an uptick in arms sales to djibouti as well as there have been other upticks in arms sales in the middle east and other places where they want a strategic relationship. for me, when indicator obviously with different government it would be different, but one indicator would be whether china is pursuing efforts like that as to whether they would want to develop a base some else in those locations. >> commissioner cleveland. >> thank you both. very, very helpful testimony. my questions are view, ms. gunness. you talked about, and i was scrambling to find it, you talk about the chinese government analysis of the role overseas and their understanding of how the are perceived.
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we had a hearing last year about what keeps xi up at night and one of the issues that service is what amounts to an echo chamber in decision-making that xi knows best of all things, and that whether it's taiwan or hong kong or pakistan, increasingly there is a sense that his authority is not questioned. so i'm curious about when you say that the chinese analysis of the position abroad, what does that analysis look like? who conducts it? how does it feel to opt? what are the perceptions of rank-and-file out in the field in terms of how welcome they are versus what the parties since of their role and impact is in beijing? >> i could probably talk for an hour on that but i won't.
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>> good. >> i mean, first of all a lot of that analysis comes through xi jinping. you can see a lot of this in the official speeches, the motivations behind the development of an expeditionary pla. things like the china dreamcoat connecting integrate power status, strong military and the dri really links tiny economic and security issues in such a way that it is basically taking what the new the historic misss manipulate and broadening out into the next step -- hu jintao. beyond official speeches there are plenty of analysis from a bri think tank that talk about security issues, both in tankers. there's definitely been a stove piping of information going up to xi jinping in recent years. i can't answer exactly how much of that filters up to him that a lot of the motivations are discussed by him in official speeches and also defense white papers and things they have
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published. in terms of party influence in the field which i think was your second question, they have an issue with command and control overseas. they have kind of managed to work it out for the counter piracy task force, though those are very limited missions. the pla reform effort, they have these new theater commands and there's even gaps within regional contingencies of who would commit different operations for the theater commands. so, for example, if there is an india issue at indy, the western theater command might send ground troops to the border, but if they needed naval assets the western theater command doesn't have posts on how to record it with another theater command. if we take that up to expeditionary mission, who was commanded what? the pla marine corps has headquarters that isn't subordinate to any of the theater command navy headquarters. it's independent, which is probably good so they can carve out the troops when they need to
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to support different missions but they don't have a joint task force mechanism to coordinate these issues yet. i would think that is probably something they would have to develop if they which would want an expeditionary capability in the future. >> i just want to clarify, when you talk about analysis interesting but and your comments. the analysis is entirely contained in beijing in terms of what current he thinks is reinforced by what xi thinks in terms of the successes of their operations abroad and their impact? >> i mean yes. xi is directed the pla to unique things go to build an expedition capability and ability of protecting their interests. like when i talked about the new historic missions that was about protecting china's interest at the time. but now it's about more than that. it's about great power. being able to shake the international security environment. so yes, these are things, i mean, i don't know what analysis
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he is getting to come up with those things but they are things -- >> i'm always interested in analysis of risk and if there is a really solid evidence what's the likely of mr. scott to listen to the what of the think those interested in your testimony is you talk about the public as a participate in bri investments, or are deployed. you characterized the citizens of china as expecting that the government will protect, whether it's a military or economic or human assets. i'm curious about the basis for that assertion, that there is this public expectation of protection of chinese assets abroad. >> so first of all there been several goals in chinese newspapers over the years asking the public if they would support more oversea pla presence in the polls have been pretty supportive of that. second, there's been a number of
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studies not been recently on china's come the chinese publics view of use of military as a foreign policy tool. what these studies have found and what is and is not a chinese study but the others are, is that the public does support increasing use of the military. it's more hawkish in nature to shape foreign policy. they are not opposed to it, let's put it that way. that's part of it. but i would say it's also that when incidents have occurred, the public, i do want to go so far to say there's been unrest that there's been some discontent. you can see it online, a lot of the -- came on life after the hostagetaking or three chinese citizens were killed. i think about the same time there's also an issue in the philippines that involved the death of several chinese citizens. this actually forced xi jinping
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to come on television, chinese television is a look, we're going to develop the means to protect them better protect citizens abroad. >> admiral blair, did you have a comet you wanted to make? >> i was just reminded by something, one indicator of what china would be up to would be the establishment of a regional combatant command strategy outside of china. right now the united states is the only country that has come that feels obliged to divide the entire world up into geographic dishes and put a 4-star officer in charge of each one. if you were to see that in chinese, their current structure is internal as we heard, that would be i would say a major indicator that ambitions are afoot. >> thank you. commissioner lewis. >> thank you very much for your presentations today.
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you probably have more experience in china than many of us have ever had in our lives, even though we have all been there. i have two two full question nr one, chinese company is controlled about 90 ports throughout the world including both ends of the panama canal. how concerned are you that these could become staging grounds for the expeditionary forces in the military since? secondly, what is your view as to what china has that moved on taiwan, and what can we do to deter them from ever moving on taiwan? >> on question number one, i'm not that concerned. if you go to these places and look into the cosco owned or other owned places, , you can st of look down into some were houses, some space. if the country in which these are located decided that they
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wanted to take control, that bad things are going on here, they could just walk right in with minor police forces and take them over. these are not bases. good listening posts, you can gather a lot of good information. good economic levers that you can use right up to the point of using them. but if you look at sri lanka, panama canal and so on, i don't see these as serious potential military bases. on the question of taiwan, the reason that china hasn't taken action today, number one, they haven't really built, if you look carefully at the forces that they are built and the way they exercise them, they seem more designed to keep taiwan from becoming independent than they do actually taking and holding the place by force.
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i think they are good sense of strategists and said it's best not to break your enemy into pieces, but to defeat them and keep them all and then you can do better job of controlling them once it's all over. and the mayhem that would be involved in a real invasion of taiwan would be unpredictable, have a hard time putting it back together. it would be hard to put it back together so i think the chinese prefer capability is use the military force to keep taiwan from getting independence. keep its mind focus on china's objectives and they try to reach some sort of an accommodation that is lubricated by economic people to people get a medic thinks and i would be their preferred solution for reuniting the country. not to say it couldn't change, but that's i think the way they think about it now. >> what you think we should be doing to deter them from taking any military action? >> more of what we're doing now. i agree with the
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administrations, we need to keep our quantity and the quality of our forces in east asia. those we can bring to bear and those that are there, increase at a faster pace in order to offset china. i mean, when i was there i would always think of the final briefing when the generals and admirals had to go into central military committee and say okay, here's our plan for taking over taiwan, and we are ready to go. and you want that plan to have a high level of risk. you want the chinese not to know what we might do. you want them to be afraid of the cave are those that they don't know about that they could bring to bear. you wanted to be worried about the secondary and tertiary effects of baby success in the near term but not able to reinforce. maybe they enable a formation of a tv station nato in which all of the other countries actually
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joined with the united states to form a strong military alliance against future moves. you want all of those doubts to be really high so that china will continue to prefer a peaceful way to reach their goals, and we prefer that to go on for a very long time. >> how do you assess the philippines reaction to the u.s. relation with the philippines? >> which aspect of the philippines? like renouncing -- you know, he does not reflect most informed philippine national security either officials who can't talk or those experienced in it who do talk to us informally. most filipinos who thinks her say about the country think that the alliance with the united states is their best bet for security over the long term. so we operated before we had the
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bfa. it was cumbersome. we had to negotiate the conditions of each individual exercise that we were on. we could go back to that again. in my mind it keeps, it throws grid into the gears of syrian military cooperation with the philippines that it does not eliminate it. >> thank thank you very much. do you have anything to add to that? >> just on one issue. i think it's not missing a grave consumer think we'll see in the future more logistics hubs call locator with commercial ports. i do think they're entering into these commercial agreements with the intention of expanding it at least, especially in countries where they have large bri funding, like pakistan and some of the places like that where you would end up with a logistics have co-located with a commercial port that they could use to then augment your
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expeditionary missions. >> commissioner wortzel. >> thank you very much, both of you, for your really thoughtful testimony. i've got a question for each of you. i'll start with ms. gunness. peacekeeping aside, do pla forces, when they are deployed either for disaster relief or in the gulf of aden operations, work in coalition with other forces? >> not usually. >> they are just out there. >> i mean, so i think, i think i'm not sure about this but it think the gulf of a and operations have. that sometimes worked in coalition certainly escorted foreign ships. but it's not in the same way as like the peacekeeping mission to molly, for example, whether integrate into a multinational port. >> admiral blair, you entreat me
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because essentially you painted a competitive strategy, almost a caustic position shaji, by keeping u.s. forces in the asia-pacific strong, active and able. it focuses chinese attention in that near zone. we are going to testimony later today that says that they already consent and amphibious ready group of about 2000 marines with helicopters out with a small surface warfare group. ..
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could that turn that turn that competitive strategy around? would we have to turn the other commands to handle that? >> there is a sense of scale. 2000 marines versus 150,000 person force to invade taiwan. it is just in the hierarchy, the further you get, the less is a concern if they are worried about their ability to achieve their goals in the first and second island chain that will get priority. they are feeling better about being able to do that, and not as forcibly as we could.
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were we to up our game there, relations with japan would allow that the relations with taiwan itself would change that, vietnam, so that we could have more of a northern extension also, the group of countries like china. the other one is technology although you can count ships and submarines in new areas of warfare, cyberspace, electronic warfare and so on. their capabilities the united
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states is closer to which could make a huge difference, with missiles and submarines could be undercut and the more we do that, keep them focused and pouring military resources into that which are the highest priority based on distance capabilities. >> mister lee. >> thanks to both of you and your testimony. this question is for both of you and it is a broader question. you talk about various motivations the chinese government has for building up expeditionary forces and some of them are completely legitimate and understandable, things like protecting the safety of chinese investments abroad and participating in international disaster
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assistance and others are more problematic. you talked about the narrative that beijing uses to justify certain operations. do either of you have insights or guidance for helping to disentangle the public narrative and totally defensible reasons for the kinds of buildups and actions we have been talking about versus what might be the true motivations and it seems there are indications for us policy where the concerns should be. the united states is not necessarily concerned about stopping china from protecting citizens abroad but other kinds of military capability or intimidation or bullying or coercion that might be happening that could be of more concern.
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a broad question for both of you. >> thank you for that question. more than the narrative i look at the action. things like the security cooperation agreement in central asia which allow -- plo has not been officially confirmed where they are starting to build small facilities. things like that where it allows influenced by china and allows for the present that is stationed there that can be expanded. those are the areas we would be concerned about and areas where it is actually becoming more apparent which countries china is wooing. that gives the united states an
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opportunity to offer 2 countries inking about militarily or presence in their area. the actions i'm concerned about rather than what they say they are doing and is justifiable in many ways but there is a broader theme. >> the international relations are really a dense range of capabilities. there are not many redlines, in the real world it gets difficult. for years we have leaned in favor of giving china the benefit of the doubt in these things, things that otherwise
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would look aggressive against international norms would be justified, they will learn as they get older that this is -- we need to start calling those out on the basis of the reality. every so often you can find a smoking gun, and aggressive military move and that out to be called out. other things are pretty unexceptional i would say, the way china has conducted noncombatant operations, it confers popular opinion they are chinese being protected by the government, they conducted in a responsible manner without taking advantage of it.
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i would say those would be okay. we are a little more suspicious and active in calling them out. and mike spirits with the chinese it is better in dealing with them. if the united states is wishy-washy about something they will go to the end of the wishy and forget about the washy. we need to be clear about what we will countenance and what we will oppose. >> thank you both. >> >> you could comment on that. you discount it a little bit. what the chinese might be doing
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i agree if we are talking about expeditionary protection in the typical sense but tell me if you are concerned about the following possible gray zone military scenario. investments in a west african country followed by inducements to local leadership corrupting them, with increasing diplomatic immigration over time. perhaps training of military forces leading up to a base on the west coast of africa, i can easily see them moving in that direction and that may be a
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greater danger, and the other one, the pla is unlikely to deploy abroad to protect these investments. and there is a primary driver of what they are doing. >> i'm cynical about being involved in the soviet union in these areas. the reason they accept huge amounts of economic aid director assistance to have a change of mind and say sorry,
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don't let the door hit you on the way out. it is infinite in my experience. the authoritarian regimes, and it is better for american interests. i don't get so worried about an unbroken chain of hard allies the last few decades, doesn't mean we don't offer them alternatives or stop calling out authoritarian regimes and deal more directly with the people who deal with them and look to the united states once they do that. you have to be in that game and working hard on it but we don't
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need to be over all driven by a fear that there will be a base there and have that distort our thinking to the point that we are worried about it. >> they protect their investments. the line from my testimony was related to facilities, factories etc. like infrastructure. the reason they may not deploy to protect those infrastructure projects is they are increasingly using private security companies and a combination of those companies on local forces to protect those investments. for the rest of the maritime stuff, energy investments, they are deploying it to protect those. >> in the first instance, private security etc.. >> if necessary they have the investigation from host countries.
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>> it depends how the private security relationship evolved and what the threat is. and in sudan they are deploying their peacekeeping troops through the un but pla as well as in some cases using local security forces to protect oilfields. if you are talking about a factory in uganda which a was a wave of unrest that threaten chinese businesses, to protect those. it depends on the relationship china has with the country and the threat that exists.
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>> thank you, commissioner and thank you, a quick follow-up to the chairwoman's question. domestic expectations in china in response to the question and written testimony you allude to the fact the chinese public increasingly expect the government to protect its citizens abroad and develop and deploy these expeditionary capabilities to do so. >> there are broader domestic pressures as well, especially polling that was referenced, is there any indication of broad-based support among the chinese domestic public for these other motivations for expeditionary capabilities, the role in the world with the resulting increased involvement in international security
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playing a larger role. >> beyond the protection of chinese citizens, so xi jinping has linked strong military to prosperous society and china as a great power, the public supports this was part of being a great power is having a carrier you can send out, being able to do a noncombatant operation if you need to and to be self-sufficient enough as a military power on the global stage like that. beyond protection of interest there is that expectation from the chinese public. you see this in foreign-policy
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related studies, they were asked if they would support more military operations overseas. you can also see it in the analysis in china. i don't want to say they are abandoning their principles but this idea that the noninterference principles have been broadened, the opening of the base in djibouti, and enabling the counterterrorism law that lets troops deploy overseas without asking permission, this would not have been expected before. this is an indicator the chinese public doesn't support a broader role. >> i don't want to put you on the spot about public opinion polls but i would be curious to learn how deep this goes when it is separate and distinct from protection of chinese citizens in the event of a hostage situation like you
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alluded to. is there a sense of that? >> i would have to go back and look at those papers. what i said before about general support for increased role of the military overseas. >> thank you very much. >> thank you to the witnesses for interesting testimony. i have a question for admiral blair. i wonder if this idea that lack of allies and partners would limit the ability of the chinese, their capability for high end power projection in the context -- you talked about economic coercion but also what is happening in a number of countries, this united front effort and trying to shape the narrative.
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they are involved in acquisition of media platforms. i find myself just wondering this is a different world. if they succeed in shaping a population's vision in a way that is favorable to them and unfavorable to us. the intervention changes. it is not just the leadership in these countries, the message the china is trying to send is favorable to china's narrative. there is an issue of them aggressively cracking down in countries where people are saying things.
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and and i don't know how successful it would be. does that change the calculus of how to intervene, that is one question. i have two for you. what is noninterference, seems to me it is a lot of what beijing says. when you look at them mucking around elections and things like that. i want your assessment of how real is this noninterference and second, for you, this polling was done before the coronavirus hits. it might be too soon to see this, but whether and how much we are going to see inside of china in the context the government will tampa it down, why are we investing so much
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overseas, i wondered if you have a sense whether that will do. three questions for any of you. >> i could see, a unique dispute in africa or latin america, the reasons combined with some manipulation of the media could result in a situation where one country could send serious military help to defend their borders against another, to support aggression against another country. that is a feasible scenario and if china were poised and wanted to make that statement.
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a long-term reliable basic structure with allies that have some stability to provide basis for long-term use of the military component of force in support of regional and allied objectives in that region. so yes, number one, could be done in a particular area even in africa or latin america. it is much harder for me to see the chinese being able to successfully pull off. >> thank you for your questions. the noninterference in support, they did adhere when they didn't have means to interfere. now they have some limited means to interfere but i still think when you look at the
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mountain road initiative even though they don't have alliances per se they are trying to build partnerships. it doesn't really do well for them to go in and not try to work with the host country. for example, i hate to -- it seems like a good example. there is a gas pipeline that is supposed to open in the mid-2020s. if there were a terrorist threat against that and chinese forces apply there to protect that, they will do those kind of things increased security cooperation and try to work with local governments if they can. if a crisis hits they have the counterterrorism law, they have legally justified the ability to proceed without asking the host country government.
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it hasn't happened yet but we will see if it does in the future. the second question was the corona virus. i haven't seen anything about a discussion about domestic issues versus pla international activities. the pla going out to distance these operations and development of a blue water navy is tied to nationalist sentiment for the public and also i don't think -- there are different pieces of funding. i don't think there is a sense that we can deal with healthcare at home, the coronavirus crisis is very new so we will see of domestic increases that. >> a couple questions.
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in testimony a few years ago, energy and resource acquisition a number of experts said chinese trying to control the source of oil and source of resources is silly because you can buy it on the market. they persisted in their strategy of owning resources. they are not going to be able to protect their resource acquisitions in australia and canada. they can in africa. they have created more than any other great power rising power.
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protecting it becomes problematical and they are vulnerable. they are vulnerable on two levels. one in the protection of critical resources, see lane protection which presumably by the way, they will have a difficult time doing. under any circumstances. and expeditionary capability to protect resources except in a localized conflict, they have a problem. >> it is a huge one for china. they are feeling their way in
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this area. would they like to protect secure sources of energy for china. is that practical in the real world? no other country has been able to do that. when i talk to chinese who are chinese energy people, there is a sophisticated understanding of how this thing really works. when i talk to pla navy people, flag follows trade, what they used for years to get bluewater funded at the expense of army forces which they have the advantage in china. if you look at the chinese
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development, get beyond somalian pirates, captain phillips was pretty accurate. we have a $1 billion cruiser serving at a platform with six special forces people shooting three somalis. this is not serious line of communication protection. if you look at the serious line of protection against not very sophisticated submarines, surface to surface missiles, many sold by the chinese on the open market for many years. as i look at the chinese ability to do that it is not very good. the line of communication as a serious mission, has been part
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of this, with national power and so on. the conundrum exists for china. if they did get into serious confrontation, they import their oil at the severance of that adversary. >> the polling of the nationalist militaristic impulse of the chinese people that we have been discussing seems to be offset by the following problem of the party, which is defeat in any circumstance has a greater impact than it would be defeat in the united states. we have all kinds of minor
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defeats but don't shake our system. there defeats will have a greater impact on them. am i misguided in thinking that way? >> this is why i think until they have and expeditionary force capable of doing more complex operations, they will be careful what they deploy for if they can. we know they can do counter piracy in some situations. they don't want to deploy and get egg on their face when they can't do a mission. when capability the most developed they are definitely in the maritime domain but as admiral blair pointed out there are many gaps in that.
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there is a definite risk for the pla & in terms of deploying overseas which is why they started small and might expand on that but started small. >> commissioner cleveland, second round of questions? >> i have several for you. you mentioned building ties with local security forces is part of the rationale. can you give an example where that is done well and where it was less successful? first question. the second is the role has changed in the past several years in terms of line of command and responsible these. you mentioned they work oh located and deployed with the
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pla. i wonder about coordination that pap is playing for the pla. you mentioned in your testimony special operations forces, they have occasionally deployed. i'm interested in the mission but more interested in what formed the basis for that deployment, why they were selected and what the rationale might have been. three questions. >> your first -- >> you mentioned -- the example of what has gone well and what might not. >> they trained with local forces in djibouti and that is the overall effort helping the government expanded security capabilities and whatnot and part of paving the way for the base opening but they have also done a lot of that in central asia, pakistan, some
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coordination with afghan forces. and his pakistan, they have deployed. >> all pla? >> pap and some for border patrols. it is part of a broader effort to increase the security cooperation between those local forces and to normalize pap's presence in those areas so the pap role has changed and it now falls under the same so it is considered a paramilitary force but is more militarily controlled. when it deploys there is coordination with command that would deploy to those areas but i have not done a lot of research so i'm not sure about the specifics.
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>> so the special forces, there have been examples, we know they have deployed special forces on the counter piracy missions and part of that is training purposes but also to regularize the ground component, you have a full package. some of those forces were sent to malley when the pla deployed under the un peacekeeping mission. they were sent to support that. some of it is training. a lot of it is training. they are trying to better integrate the software and the maritime component. they are sending them to support these other missions. >> i would agree with that.
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you can look at these small elements of what you would need for serious intervention capability and draw lines but it is a pretty big jump. you can't so together a few ships and fedex support and have intervention capability. there are intermediate steps that have to be done that we would see. the chinese military planners are doing a sensible job responding to the missions they would like to do building component pieces, i have a lot of respect for what they've been able to do, the decisions they've made in east asia and the capability to project power elsewhere but the united states
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has huge advantages in this whole area and i think the only way we can lose is by forgetting what we are doing and not paying attention and withdrawing and not putting resources behind it and so i don't want to come across as somebody who says it is all under control because we can't rest on our oars but our oars are stronger for our experience, relationships are all there and as long as we keep pushing on resources and putting good people there we can handle this. >> commissioner? >> i want to draw on your discussion of the reading of legal justifications for what china may or may not do and give you a special case and see if you have read anything that talks about it but if you think
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about justifications for armed intervention in another state, whether the state has failed or not, to protect one's own citizens they really do constitute the kind of challenge xi jinping at a response to. the carolina fair in the us, 18 something, the box gone in china but post establishment in the united nations in world war ii our actions in grenada, our actions and the panama can now. have you seen any discussion in chinese military legal literature on potential leave the need to do that? and if you want to comment on the capability it is pretty low
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but these are big questions. >> i haven't seen anything in the literature. i do have an anecdote. someone who recently talked said to me one of the things that keeps him up at night, one of the scenarios would be if a chinese diplomat or businessman were kidnapped and they would have to do a hostage rescue in a country where you had to keep it quiet and go in and rescue them that would be one scenario. another would be a terrorist attack on chinese soil connected to syria and isis fighters or something like that where right now china has very minimal military advisers on the ground in syria. a terrorist attack like that
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might force them to deploy. they could do it under the un counterterrorism mission in the middle east. so there are other options rather than unilaterally deploying boots on the ground but those are scenarios that are concerning at least according to these chinese analysts but i haven't read anything in the literature. >> if you have anything to contribute? >> that is a good discussion of where it stands right now with china. i think we got to also mention as i did in my written testimony that the chinese thinking about aggressive military action pales with distance from china and you see that part in the white paper
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that says nations to take the road of bellicosity, you know better than i do, that they think they are the good guys and what they are doing is defensive. their definition of defense looks a lot like offense to anybody who happens to be living there and that is in a separate category. we heard their definition of noninterference in the internal affairs of others is maybe if it is chinese citizens it is not interference and so on and so on but there is an ideological self-image barrier to getting this aggressive intervention capability on medium or large scale and that
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is another key indicator we would see changing and i don't think we should assume it exists, and encourage the chinese to adopt it. we should watch closely for it and attempt to enforce modes of international behavior which you need the un to favor what you are doing, you need a justification for naked self-interest and work that while keeping our eye open for these other indicators which would indicate a big reach. another interesting thing to watch is xi jinping. it is terrific he decided to be in charge for a long time. all the longtime rulers get their good ideas early on and in their later years are pretty much following up old ideas of his ideas are out there now and if he lasts until 2030 we will just see reruns and know what
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is there. i think the impetus from new leadership in china, china forfeited for a while by sticking with what they have. what was it the reagan administration used to say? we need to be moderately worried about this and intelligently worried about it but not crazy which is what you said in your opening remarks. >> the last part of this is in the un charter there is armed intervention for humanitarian purposes. you wouldn't think you would see that except they did threaten that a couple times against vietnam and indonesia but we haven't seen them trade for it and that is an important point. >> commissioner cleveland.
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>> one final question. do we see any differentiation in chinese assessments of what they are willing to protect when it comes to economic investment? are they more inclined to be willing to deploy or protect mining assets versus railroads? is there any distinction in the literature how they view priorities? >> i have not seen anything in terms of prioritization but you can see their own threat assessment. core facilities, energy interests nike oilfields that you can guard and there is some discussion about things like oil pipelines and broader
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discussions about the maritime vulnerabilities, it is supposed to connect china to different waterways, that creates a lot of vulnerability for them. so there is the arctic, other vulnerabilities so there is a sense that they really, not anytime soon but at some point they need to develop a capability that does have the ability to protect their interests in those types of situations. >> admiral blair? >> and we have you here off subject slightly. i'm interested in your comments on chinese russian military cooperation and its implications for the united states in a realistic way. >> i think my enemy's enemy is my enemy.
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i think there's great advantage in specific issues in the near-term coordinating their efforts so that they cause more problems for the united states, keep the united states worried about this while other countries -- rational bureau of asian research has done study on this which i commend to you but you don't want to make too much of your personal knowledge but with chinese and russian over the years, the idea of them having long-term convergence of interest would have to overcome a lot of cultural history. >> can i take advantage of my time to give you the two recommendations? >> absolutely. >> would be useful. i have said this to friends in the executive branch and got nowhere so maybe you will have better luck than i but the area in which things are up for grabs most between us and china
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is in the south china sea. things are pretty well locked down in northeast asia and taiwan where there is a balance of clear policy. south china sea is up for grabs in the main thing the united states is missing is clear policy as opposed to what we don't want. any official statement starts we take no position on the territorial disputes going on here and don't want anything to happen by force. what kind of non-policy is that. we need a policy on what we do think is a fair adjudication of conflicting territorial claims in that region and then we can give orders to people who are on the job, what you protect and what you let go and how you work with your allies and build
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with your friends and send ships challenging everything. it comes from the other five countries that have claims but it could be encouraged by the united states, japan and other seafaring countries would get state department people here so we can tell our freedom of navigation program what occurs. that is number one. number 2, the big factor we haven't discussed is india. they sit in the middle of it, i recommend indian government if you can, and security experts if you can to talk about the same questions because they
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look at it more closely than we do and have a stake in what they would do if it goes a certain direction. those would be my recommendations. let's get a decent south china sea policy we can use our military power to enforce and get it closer to what india wants to do, in dealing with the second zone of south asia which the chinese have their eyes on. >> that is a wonderful way. we spent time in india some years ago meeting with the government or non-ex-government officials with the relationship between us and india, i agree with you wholeheartedly, it is a default situation that has
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worked against us. unless anybody has anything? thank you again and admiral blair. >> we will be back in session 1 hour from now. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> this hearing looking at china's ability to project military power influence in other countries taking a break for lunch. we have live coverage on c-span2. we will hear, scott morrison and cabinet members, they talk about different domestic and foreign affairs, and the recent
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australia wildfires. >> we have the highlights, the fires of ravaged the east coast over the summer and died down. political fallout is just beginning. question time in politics, bipartisan day honoring fire victims and thinking volunteers who helped fight the fires. it didn't take long for the conversation to turn to politics. >> my question is to the prime minister. why does the primers to claim he acted on the advice, he ignored for two years there advance were permanent boost for firefighting capabilities. >>


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