U.S.-China Security Management: Assessing the Military-To-Military Relationship

By Kevin Pollpeter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
The U.S. Debate over U.S.-China Military
Relations1

The current U.S. debate surrounding U.S.-China military relations has centered around four major issues: the potential risks of U.S.China military relations to U.S. national security; the potential benefits of the U.S.-China military relationship to the United States; the ability of the United States to influence China; and the relative levels of reciprocity and transparency in the relationship. The issues of reciprocity and transparency in particular are central to the Defense Department's current restrictions. The Clinton administration, in contrast, emphasized the ability of military relations to influence China. This chapter examines each of these arguments and assesses their validity.


Have U.S.-China Military Relations Harmed U.S. National Security?

During the 1980s, a significant aspect of U.S. military relations with China was to assist the PLA in its modernization efforts. As we discussed earlier, the United States assisted the PLA under the umbrella of providing a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. For ex

____________________
1
Much of the information in this chapter is derived from interviews with people who have studied or who have been intimately involved in the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship.

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