Friday, June 10, 2011

Caucus Brief: China Plans Naval Exercises in Western Pacific

CHINA PLANS NAVAL EXERCISES IN WESTERN PACFIC.  China is planning to conduct naval training drills in the Western Pacific later this month.  This announcement comes only days after China's neighbors expressed concern over the nation's growing military power.  These exercises will take place in international waters and are "not targeted at any specific country," according to a statement from China's Defense Ministry.  Military observers will be watching these exercises closely as they await the launch of the People's Liberation Army's first aircraft carrier.

CHINA REBUTS PANETTA'S REMARKS.  Chinese state-run media has accused the United States of trying to provoke trouble between China and its Asian neighbors in light of CIA Director Leon Panetta's remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee.  One of Panetta's statements in particular, which argued that China appears to be developing the capability to "fight and win short-duration, high-intensity conflicts" along its borders, prompted a stern response from the government-run Global Times which described this statement as a provocation intended to exaggerate tensions between China and its neighbors.

CHINA TO DEVELOP N. KOREA TRADE ZONES.  A piece from the FT reports that China has broken ground on two economic development zones in North Korea.  China's Commerce Ministry has announced that the two countries would  develop two separate "government-led, enterprise-based and market oriented" economic zones close to the Chinese border.  This announcement marks the first time that these two nations have jointly pursued such an initiative.

CHINA LOOMS LARGE FOR NEW INDIAN AIR FORCE CHIEF.  In July India's new Air Force Chief will begin a major revamp of India's order of battle that is designed to counter Chinese air force deployments.  A piece from Aviation Week lays out the Indian force deployment shift. Looms Large For New Indian AF Chief&channel=defense

IS CHINA HEDGING FOR GADHAFI'S FALL?   A piece from the WSJ argues that China may be hedging its bets against Moammar Gadafi staying in power.  Thus far, China has repeatedly called for a diplomatic solution and seemingly supported Gadafi staying in power.  However, China has now publicly met with the leader of the Libyan rebels, a move that suggests that Beijing is beginning to look for favor with Gadafi's opposition.  Prior to violence breaking out in Libya, China had invested nearly $19 billion across 50 projects in Libya.

THE FUTURE OF VOICE OF AMERICA BROADCASTING TO CHINA.  Last month, Rep. Dana Rohrbacher led a group of Members of Congress in calling for funding for Voice of America broadcasts into the People's Republic of China.  Rep. Rohrbacher's letter requested that $15 million of the foreign operation's appropriations bill be allocated to supporting VOA mandarin and Cantonese. A piece from the Heritage Foundation explains why this program is an important U.S. strategic asset for penetrating China's "Great Firewall."  

IMF CANDIDATE WOOS CHINA.  French Finance Minister and candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde was a hit with the Chinese media during a recent visit to campaign for China's support.  CNN reports that Minister Lagarde had the entire Chinese press corps in laughter with witty comebacks and easy confidence.  China has recently opposed the idea of the next IMF Director being European, as they believe the European perspective does not take into account the needs of developing nations.


The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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