Pyongyang’s more recent diplomatic and economic outreach to the rest of the world are encouraging, but as yet no reciprocal confidence-building measures have been forthcoming. It is crucial that the United States and the ROK maintain deterrence during the process of reconciliation and economic integration on the Korean Peninsula. We favor a step by step process of using reciprocal confidence building measures that link economic and diplomatic initiatives to real reductions in the military threat on the peninsula.
A stable, open, prosperous People’s Republic of China (PRC) that respects the rule of law and assumes its responsibilities for building a more peaceful world is clearly and profoundly in our interests. The prospects for peace and prosperity in Asia depend heavily on China’s role as a responsible member of the international community. Our policy toward China is both principled and pragmatic, expanding our areas of cooperation while dealing forthrightly with our differences.
In recent years, the United States and China have taken a number of steps to strengthen cooperation in international affairs: intensive diplomatic work to restore relations damaged by our mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade; successful conclusion of a bilateral agreement on Chinese WTO accession; two presidential bilateral meetings in 2000; regular exchanges of visits by cabinet and sub-cabinet officials to consult on political, military, security, nonproliferation, arms control, economic, financial, and human rights issues; cooperating in efforts to account for Americans missing as a result of World War II and the Korean War; establishing a consultation mechanism to strengthen military maritime safety; holding discussions on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and environmental security; and establishing working groups on law enforcement cooperation. China is also a participant in science, technology, and health research. Our cooperation in promoting environmental protection and sustainable development is steadily increasing to the benefit of U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the same time, China’s rise as a major power presents an array of potential challenges. Many of China’s neighbors are closely monitoring China’s growing defense expenditures and modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Given international and regional focus on China’s growing military power, China’s adherence to multilateral nonproliferation and arms control regimes, as well as increased military transparency, is of growing importance.
United States interests have been advanced in discussions with China on arms control and nonproliferation issues. We have advanced our dialogue on nonproliferation and arms control through exchanges at the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and sub-cabinet level in 1999 and 2000, building on previous accomplishments. The United States and China announced in earlier exchanges that they will not target their strategic nuclear weapons at each other and confirmed their common goal of halting the spread of WMD. Both our nations have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We have consulted on the Missile Technology Control Regime and missile nonproliferation, and we continue to press China to exercise restraint in its missile policies and practices. In November 2000, China publicly announced that it would reinforce its export control system, and that it had no intention to assist any country in the development of ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Both nations have ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, and China has further strengthened its controls on the export of dual-use chemicals and related production equipment and technology to assure they are not used for production of chemical weapons. Both nations have called for strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention and early conclusion of a protocol establishing a practical and effective mechanism to enhance compliance and improve transparency. We also reached agreement with China on practices for end-use visits on U.S. high technology exports to China and we will continue a dialogue on implementation of this agreement.
China is working with the United States on important regional security issues. On the Korean Peninsula, the United States and China share an interest in peace and stability and worked together to support the June 2000 North-South Summit. We have both worked to convince North Korea to freeze its dangerous nuclear program, and believe the four-party peace talks are an important tool in working toward establishment of peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
To help maintain peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific, and to promote our broad foreign policy objectives, we are implementing fully the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act by maintaining unofficial relations between the American people and the people of Taiwan. We are keeping the focus on peaceful resolution by working assiduously to encourage the PRC and Taiwan to reestablish direct dialogue, while maintaining our firm commitment to Taiwan’s self-defense by providing defensive arms to Taiwan.
Our key security objectives for the future include: sustaining the strategic dialogue begun by the recent summits and other high-level exchanges; enhancing stability in the Taiwan Strait by maintaining our “one China” policy, promoting peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, and encouraging dialogue between Beijing and Taipei; strengthening China’s adherence to international nonproliferation norms, particularly with respect to export controls on ballistic missile and dual-use technologies; encouraging China to adopt broader, more effective export control policies; achieving greater openness and transparency in China’s military; encouraging a constructive PRC role in international affairs through active cooperation in multilateral fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC); and improving law enforcement cooperation in such areas as counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and migrant trafficking.
Southeast Asia and the Pacific
Our strategic interest in Southeast Asia centers on developing regional, multilateral, and bilateral security and economic relationships that assist in conflict prevention and resolution. United States security objectives in the region are: strengthening our security alliances and partnerships with Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore; sustaining facilities access arrangements with these countries and other ASEAN nations; and encouraging effective multilateral cooperation by expanding participation in regional exercises geared toward disaster relief operations and combating such transnational threats as piracy and drug-trafficking. We continue to view ASEAN as the key regional institution for enhancing security and prosperity. We will continue to work on our relationship with ASEAN and enhance our multilateral security dialogue under the ARF. We must also pursue multilateral, or sometimes bilateral, initiatives with ASEAN to address transnational issues such as the spread of infectious disease, alien smuggling, trafficking in women and children, environmental protection, and combating organized crime, particularly the flow of heroin from Burma and other countries in the region.