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Forbes Amendments Seek Transparency on China's Military Modernization, Participation in RIMPAC 2014

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Washington, D.C., Jun 6, 2013 | Alex Gray (202-225-6365) | comments

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, introduced two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 regarding U.S.-China military relations (H.R. 1960), both of which were incorporated into the final bill.

“China’s military modernization continues at a rapid pace without the transparency that would reassure our allies that China intends to be a constructive player in the region,” Forbes said. “China’s aggressive posture in territorial disputes with its neighbors only heightens fears that its military spending is intended for coercive purposes. My amendment expresses a desire for Beijing to resolve its territorial disputes in a peaceful manner while reiterating the continued commitment of the United States to a forward-deployed military presence in the Western Pacific.”

The amendment represents the sense of Congress on: (Text)

  • The rate and scope of PRC military developments, including its military-focused cyber espionage, which indicate a desire to constrain or prevent the peaceful activities of the United States and its allies in the Western Pacific.
  • The U.S. commitment to a robust forward military-presence in the Asia-Pacific and the need to continue to vigorously support mutual defense agreements with treaty allies while also building deeper relationships with other strategic partners in the region.
  • The need for China to resolve its existing territorial disputes and adopt a maritime code of conduct to guide all forms of maritime interaction and communications in the Asia-Pacific.

The second amendment introduced by Congressman Forbes addresses China’s participation in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercises. The amendment directs the Secretary of the Navy to brief the Congress within 30 days on the intended scope of Chinese participation in the exercises and the compliance of Chinese participation with the provisions of the FY2000 NDAA, which seeks to limit China’s exposure to sensitive information obtained through military-to-military contacts.

About the Annual National Defense Authorization Act

The annual national defense policy bill, or National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, authorizes the enactment of appropriations for DoD programs and initiatives while setting forth priorities, organizational structure, and the responsibilities of program and agency officials. The bill consists of portions, or marks, written and approved by each Subcommittee. The full Armed Services Committee is considering the legislation, including proposed amendments, and will vote to report the bill for consideration before the House of Representatives. Upon passage, the bill is then sent to the senate. Typically after the Senate passes its version of the legislation, Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees conference to reconcile differences and agree upon a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which will be sent to the President for his signature.

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