tv Antony Blinken Testifies on Asia Policy CSPAN April 29, 2016 8:01pm-9:53pm EDT
eastern on c-span. >> tonight a hearing on u.s. policy in the asia-pacific region and discussion on new fcc rules for consumer data and later a look at state of literary magazines in today's political climate. deputy secretary of state antoni blinken testified about u.s. interest in the asia patie pacific region at a house foreign committee. they asked about aggression in the south china sea and sanctions against north korea and human rights issues in vietnam and burma. this is just under two hours.
some of the world's most danger flash points are inash as our closest alleal. we are welcome mr. blinken to the committee. america is a pacific power and we must act like one. we've had a role in shaping policy toward asia and we took the lead imposing sufficient sanctions on north korea, on highlighting hume ran rights in southeast asia and strengthening our alliance in the nation. since the north korea january nuea fourth, kim jong-un belligerence has only
increased. this rogue regime poses a direct threat to the united states. and last weekend the regime launched a missile from a submari submarine. reports are that another nuclear test could be on the horizon. this year the president signed into law for sanctions this committee pushed to aggressively target north korea's cash. this strong bipartisan measure authored by myself and mr. engel helped the administration get a sweeping u.n. security council sanctions resolution through. so, the administration has the tools it needs to tackle the north korean threat and keep americans safe, but will it use them? in it recent u.n. report found several countries still pushing cash to kim jong-un's regime
through prohibited arms deals. they must be pressed to stop -- forced to stop. and frankly, through this legislation, we can force them. and the administration must designate more companies and more banks and more individuals. north korea is a human rights house of horrors. so how is it that not one north korea official has been sanctioned specifically for human rights abuses. looking south. the beijing government continues its aggressive push into the south china sea with land reclamation and militarization of contested islands. our allies are increasingly alarmed. and while all of these disputes must be resolved peacefully, that is best done with a policy of strength, resolve, and clarity. rejecting beijing's apparent
moves toward defacto control over international shipping lanes. in southeast asia, vietnam's poor how manian rights record -- human rights record continues. bloggers are harassed and jailed. when myself or other members of the committee, chris smith, when we've travelled to vietnam, we have visited with political prisoners, we have visited with dissidents. when the president travels to vietnam next month, president obama could send a clear and unequivocal message to the community government and firmly stand by that country's brave dissidents, unlike he did in cuba. and i would also urge the president to stress the importance of restoring the benoit military cemetery, the resting place of south vietnamese solders, a cause
important to the vietnamese community. and while there is hope for new government in burma and we've been pushing for democracy in burma, it is making progress, but it must now perform for all burmese, including the rohingya population. i hope to hear that we are making this persecution of the minority one of our priorities. finally no discussion of asia is complete without mentioning its dynamic economies. we must continue efforts to open new markets for our businesses. and build the capacity of tomorrow's trade partners. trade can play a key role in strengthening u.s. alliances. the united states has played a critical role in asia. our power and presence helped shape the economic miracles. when we think about what happened in japan and in south
korea, and taiwan, all democracies today but that proud legacy has to be protected through constant vigilance and engagement. mr. engel will be here momentarily and will move to introduce mr. blinken and have your testimony. and then we'll hear from the ranking member when he arrives. thank you, tony. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much and to members of the committee, thank you for having me here. it is very good to be back to discuss our rebalance to the asia pacific region. i just got back to my sixth visit in over a year and with each trip i've seen growing dividends of the effort to rebalance our focus on the region and to strengthen a ru s rules-based order that is advancing our interest and increasingly not only in the region but globally. >> secretary blinken, could you -- could you pull the microphone just a little closer. some of the members were having trouble -- >> sorry about that. is that better. >> yes.
thank you, tony. >> as you said, mr. chairman, nowhere in the world are economic and strategic opportunities clearer or more compelling than in the region. home to four of the top ten trading partners, five of our seven treaty allies and the largest and fastest growing economying 40% of global growth and two-thirds of the global middle class and the wired most in the world. and asia is deepening our diplomatic ties with the region commensurate with the importance has helped shape a positive trajectory in the region. we bolster our alleys and strengthening regional opportunities and promoting trade and investment and enhancing military and advancing democratic reform and creating new networks of trilateral and multi-lateral relationships. there are multiple pillars. i want to briefly go through the pillars. first, we've invested in modernizing our core alliances
with japan and the philippines and included new host nations reports with japan and korea and signed with australia and concluded a landmark enhanced corporation agreement with the philippines. second we've deepened engagement with emerging countries in the region. we built a relationship with china, defined by broader practical cooperation on global challenges while at the same time directly engaging our differences to try to resolve and avoid conflict and worken to deepen the bonds between the people of the united states and taiwan. our partnership within asia and singapore has grown to reflect the increased corporation on regional and global challenges, from climate change to violent extremism. and we forged new relations with vietnam and burm as they turn the page on the past. i saw this again for myself in vietnam last week. thanks in part to the bipartisan leadership of this committee, the u.s. and vietnam are deep deepening and broadening ties in ways we couldn't imagine a
decade ago or to a year ago. third, we sustained increasing institution like a-pec and asia and sending our first dedicated ambassador and hosting the first summit here in the united states and hosting a-pec in 2011. these are important for prometing collective action and seeking the peaceful resolution of differences. they advance a security architecture in which the united states is a vital and permanent player. fourth, we have vigorously promoted trade and investment designed to unlock growth for the united states and allies and partners in the region. we've implemented a free trade agreement with south korea and worked with burma, helping set the stage for american companies to enter the market. and the heart of the engagement is the trans-pacific partnership which will bring 40% of global gdp together. tpp will eliminate more than 18,000 taxes on american exports and help level the playing field
for american workers while solidifying an economic arena in which every participant, regardless of the size, agrees to fight bribery and corruption and abide by international labor standards, including the formation of in dependent trade unions and commits to enforcement of environmental safeguards. fifth, we've enhanced our military, deploying 60% of the navy in the region by the end of the decade and some of the most advanced capabilities. we're increasing the maritime security capacity of our parters and rotating american personnel to northern australia and new sites in the philippines. sixth, we're standing up for the values an the basic rights and freedoms of individuals throughout the region. in indonesia and [ inaudible ] and peaceful transition of power, we hope to establish the nation's first nonpartisan independent organization. we trained over 11,000 political party members to improve their ability to effectively
communicate with voters. we continue to stress the importance of upholding the rule of law and express our strong concern about discrimination experienced by ethnic and religious minorities, including the rohingya. in response, vietnam has taken positi positive tens, including -- steps and including releasing prisoners and agreeing to allow independent nation for the first time in modern history. significant reforms remain to bring laws into sync with regulations and its own constitution. and we've invested in a new lateral networks to encourage networks among the region. at the core is a robust trilateral partnership with south korea and japan in chr we've convened the vice minister deputy level and i've done that three times and the benefits are crystal clear in the challenge from north korea and the
provocative acts in the nuclear missile demain. we are stepping up sanctions implementation including under the u.n. security council resolution and working to increase the capabilities of other countries to implement that resolution. and our three countries will continue to shine an in tense light on north korea's deplorable human rights violations and pursue accountability for them. we're focused on maritime issues. especially chinese assertive behavior in the south china sea that is challenging the peaceful resolution of disputes and deepened our kmietment to [ inaudible ]. these by lateral and multi lateral relationships are not aimed a any particular country. they are not sclus exclusive. we welcome any collaboration with countries incding greater cooperation and the growing unit of thessy an community and we are building relationships not just amongst countries but among
the people. the wis illy people now 67,000 strong connects dynamic people to the united states and to each other. mr. chairman, the efforts represent a small but important slice of the work that we're currently undertaking. seven years after president obama rechallenged on the asia pacific we are leaders with common ideals and a collective sense of global responsibility. i thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. blinken. i think without objection, the witnesses' full prepared statement will be made part of the record and members will have five calendar days to submit statements and questions and any extraneous materials for the record. i think what we'll do is proceed with some of the questions from committee and then when the ranking member member arrives, he'll make his statement and ask the deputy secretary of state the questions that he has as well.
if we could start, mr. blinken, with the north korea sanctions and the administration of those sanctions, an issue i brought up in the opening statement. this is a strong north korean sanctions bill that we passed and -- this bill did help get that u.n. resolution in place. but you're just back from the region. what has been the reaction to this new law? how has the pressure been turned up? i raise that fact that no one has been sanctioned yet on human right as booze-- rights abuses. and i think it is high time that happened and there is a new u.n. report that reports that several countries are purchasing north korean weapons. if you would speak to that issue. european luxury goods are still making their way to kim jong-un. and are we yet to hit any chinese banks facilitating
transactions as we did in the past with bank of delta asia which was very effective at the time. if you recall, it cut off the hard currency, stopped the production of the missile program at the time because they didn't have the hard currency to proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, i want to thank the committee for the very important work that it did. i think the combination of the u.n. security council resolution, which is the strongest tool we've had to deal with north korea, the legislation from congress and the executive order that have put those into effect, really puts us in a different position. we now have the ability, if implemented, and that is the key, to maximize pressure on north korea to try to get it to change its conduct. for the first time through the u.n. security council resolution, we require that all cargo going in and out of the country be inspected. for the first time we have sect oral sanctions that limit or ban
the export of coal, iron, gold, rare earth materials that they use to finance their activities and financial sanctions that go at banks and assets and all ban of nuclear and miss-related goods. the critical component now is implementation and we're looking principally at china as well as other countries to follow through on implementation. china played an important role in getting the resolution. it is our expectation that it will now implement it. it is too soon to say whether that is the case. we've seen some encouraging developments and statements it made but we are watching intensely. but at the same time, it is not enough. and what we're focused on, besides the implementation of the security council resolution is relentlessly building pressure on north korea, working principally with our key allies, japan and korea. we're working in various ways to cut off all of the revenues going to the regime. for example, they have, as you
know, overseas workers who's remittances are not going back to families but going back to the regime. we're working to cut that off. we have diplomats engaged in illicit -- and the restaurant workers who defected from china, we're seeing this in different countries from around the world. they set up businesses and the money goes back to the regime. we're working to find those countries and cut them off and further isolate north korea by getting the diplomats who are again notten -- not engauged in diplomat activities, they go home and those people who don't work for the party congress or invite them tonight events and working to get countries to make sure they are doing what you alluded to, making sure that the ships that go to north korea don't dock in their countries and that the planes don't land. so right now, we're working on enforcing all of that. >> and i've been part of the dialogue, our committee has on each of the fronts and all have been helpful. but there is one final step that
needs to be taken. banks are concerned about the reputational risk of what will happen if they have to make a choice between doing business with north korea or doing business with the united states. and we've seen in the past, for those dozen banks that were affected back during the sanctions regime put in place when north korea was caught counterfeiting our $100 bills. just how concerned they are about reputational risk, even when -- even when those sanctions were reportedly listed by state and the time, bank still wanted to know, yes, but has the u.s. treasury department really signed off on this? because otherwise, we're not going to move the hard currency into north korea. without that hard currency, they find it very difficult to move forward with their nuclear program and their missile programs so it is essential that decision be made and we'll
continue to dialogue on that and that is a decision you need to make and i'm sure you raised that in beijing. >> i appreciate that. >> and again i raise that issue about the rohingya people. we need to work with that new government frankly in burma to shape attitudes toward the rohingya and you'll have to continue to lean in on that. on the vietnam human rights issue, i've got to share with you, we've got the case of a human rights lawyer new van dye who was arrested in december for his advocacy of human rights and democracy. according to his wife, he was severely beaten by the police and been in solitary confinement since his arrest and he was denied access to his lawyers and to his family. will the president push for his release? i think this is very, very necessary. >> mr. chairman, i very much appreciate those comments, first on the rohingya. we have been very focused on working to get the government in
burma to protect their rights. when i was there a couple of months ago, i raised this repeatedly, including with khi. we're looking to the government to give them genuine freedom of movement so they could work so they could go to school and get health care and the discrimination. we're working on that. with vietnam, absolutely. i think the president will certainly engage with that community. when i was there last week i met with civil society activists and lawyers and others, indeed, to express the concern we have. vietnam has made real progress. they have released a lot of political prisoners and working to conform their laws to the constitution but work remains to be done. >> thank you, deputy secretary. i'll go to our ranking member eliot engel from new york who has an opening statement and then questions. mr. engel. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for calling the hearing and mr. deputy secretary, i've known you for a long time. welcome to the foreign affairs committee. it has been a pleasure working with you over the years in the
various roles in which you've served and we're very fortunate to -- i was to say this possibly, we are fortunate to have a dedicated as a number two in the state department so thank you for all you do. i was encouraged that the president and secretary kerry charged you with focusing on asia during your time as deputy secretary and that is a focus we badly need and i think you are the right person for the job. half of the world's population calls asia home and the nations of asia account for more than a third of global gdp. from india to japan to indonesia and asia has a greater impact on global affairs than ever before. as a pacific power, the united states faces no shortage of foreign policy challenges in asia, from the north korea reckless behavior to the impacts of climate change to the recruitment of fighters and into violent extremist groups. the way we manage the rise of china in the years ahead may well be the most consequential foreign policy issue of the 21st century. the decisions we make today will determine whether the values and
norms we champion in asia after world war ii will continue to thrive. that is why this has been called -- this america's specific century and that is why there is no better time to focus on this dynamic part of the world. the so-called asia rebalance is hashed a number of important diplomatic achievements. we've strengthen our core alliance with australia, japan and philippines and south korea. with our allies of japan, we've established trilateral forums with australia, south korea and india. we've wrapped up our agreement with asia and dedicated to the east asia summit. as burma has begun the hard work of moving toward a more open democratic society. despite the efforts i regularly hear concerns from our allies in the region that the rebalance is more of a shift in military strategy than about diplomatic engagement. so this morning i hope we could
drill down and look at other ways the state department is making asia a priority and areas where the department's approach could be more robust. i'll start with the question that sounds more like it should be on a geography quiz. as far as the state department is concerned with respect to the asia rebalance what do we consider to be asia? i ask this because in my view, the world's largest democracy, india, should be an integral part of our policy. as the world's third largest economy, india has the potential to become a major economic plau player in east asia and playing a constructive role in maritime issues. china regards asia as a strategic hole with the one belt and one road policy and aiming to expand chinese influence through the cass peen. we have three different bureaus responsible for south and east asia in the pacific creates a barrier to cooperation across
the entire region. so i would like to hear what state department is doing to overcome obstacles that deals it with as a priority that includes south and central asia. shaying with structural issues in the state department, would you like to discuss if we are doing all we can from a resource stand point to ensure our asia policy will succeed. this is the smallest regional bureau in terms of personnel and the second lowest level of the foreign assistance. any questions about state department resources has to start here on capitol hill. i strongly support investing more in diplomacy and development across the board. our international affairs budget gives us tremendous bang for the buck but i wonder if anything could be done in foggy bottom so it is adequately resources. we've heard this is a priority and that should be reflected in the investments we make. lastly i would like to turn so the south china sea.
we expect the law of the sea tribunal to issue a decision involving the claims of china and the philippines. that could ratchet up tensions. while the united states doesn't take a position, a specific claim made by various parties we want to see chain play by the -- china play by the same rules as everyone else. so we see the security initiative which aims to help our southeast asia partners know what china is doing off their coastlines and to share that information with each other. if the u.s. and our partners are on the same page, we can work together to keep china in check and make sure china doesn't threaten our strategic and economic interests in the region but it is not clear why the defense department is leading the way instead of the state department. the d.o.d. new norts are duplicative of existing state department authorities. i worry that putting such a program under d.o.d. control
could erode state security cooperation responsibilities. our diplomats are responsible for overseeing security assistance and it should stay that way and whatever level of cooperation between state and d.o.d. on this matter, i'm concerned this is another example of what some called the millity airization of foreign policy with the concerns that the asia rebalance is a military policy even in areas that have been diplomat responsibilities. so mr. deputy secretary, i'm interested in hearing your views on these issues and as well as other areas i'll be turning on as well. i thank you again for your service and commitment and i look forward to your testimony. i want to raise two questions and in conjunction with my statement and it is -- the first one is about india. it has been characterized by u.s. officials as an in dispensable partner of the united states. the third largest economy in the world.
by purchasing power parody and the largest democracy in the asia region. the u.s. india relationship is important and growing. in particular on the defense side. and prime minister mody will be coming to washington in a couple of months to meet with president obama. from a strategic perspective, india is a growing influence in asia and become vocal on issues like freedom of navigation in the south china sea and the indian ocean region. additionally central asia occupied critical geography. the china recognize this potential of central asia for what has been a cross roads on the doorstep of the great powers and a transit point for trade and culture between the east and the west and the chinese are seeking to a expand their influence there. yet in your written testimony there is only one mention of india in the context of a trilateral ministerial and no mentions of south and central
asia at all. so my question is do they not fit with the administration as larger rebalance asia strategy and how could we rebalance to strategy without a strategic framework that considers asia as a strategic hole. thank you. >> thank you very much. we strongly share your view on the importance of india, both in and of itself but also as part of the region. and as an increasingly vital region actor. india has its own regional policy that dove tails very nicely with the work we're doing on the rebalance. so we're working increasingly to integrate india into the statement. the u.s.-japan-india try lateral level, at a ministerial level, we included japan in the mala bar exercise which was a significant development which we hope to continue to carry
forward. but we're building our own relationship with india as evidenced by the extraordinary level of high level engagement including the return visit here and the president being received for the first time as the honored guest at republic day but in concrete collaboration across the board. everything from climate and smart cities to improving the business climate to defense cooperation to production cooperation even in the defense area. but intelligence sharing, information sharing, counter-terrorism sharing and countering terrorism, across the board the elevation has been eliminated but it is intergrated india into the region frameworks so we are working together jointly. and the example with japan is a very good one. but this is exactly the direction that we want to go in. >> thank you. i'm wondering you if you could comment on the -- on the south china sea. i just want to ask you -- the
philippines has brought an arbitration case against china's claims under the south chain sea under the law of the sea. if the ruling goes in the philippines favor as expected and if china refused to abide by it, what are the implications for the philippines and the claim on the south china sea and how does this change the u.s. approach in the south china sea. >> i would say -- this is incredibly important to us and our partners in two ways. first of all, 25% of all traded goods, 25% of all oil that travels by sea goes through the south china sea. and indeed, one-third overall of liquified natural gas. we have no position, as you know, on the sovereignty claim. we're not a claimant ourselves. but we have a strong interest in the way the claims are prosecuted by any claimant and a very strong interest in maintaining freedom of navigation in making sure that
disputes are dissolved peacefully and that countries abide by international law. and these are the very interests that china has been challenging with some of the actions, including the massive reclamation and militarization of the land features as well as various assertions that are not justified under international law. the case that you referred to is a very important moment. this is an arbitration case brought by the philippines with china and we expected a decision by the tribunal in the coming months. china knowingly agreed to the provisions the law of the sea treaty which wh it signed up. five independent arbitrators said unanimously rejected the claim that it wasn't bound by the arbitration mechanism that the jurisdiction was lacking. and the convention provides that its rulings are binding on the parties to the convention. so we have worked very hard to establish across the region an
understanding that it is an appropriate mechanism, arbitration to dissolve the disputes and the ruling should be binding on the two parties. we said to the chls, if you are given satisfaction on any aspect of the decision, we'll be the first to stand up and defend it. but of course if the philippines is, you have to respect that. china has a decision to make, depending on how the ruling comes out. it will decide to abide by the ruling and that gives us a great opportunity i think to narrow the scope of areas that are in dispute in the south china sea. that would be good. to get countries to work cooperatively together for example, joint ventures on the exploitation of resources an to work to resolve disputes that remain peacefully. that is one path. the other path is it ignores the decision. and ten i think it -- then i think it risks doing terrible damage to its reputation. further alienating countries in the region and pushing them even closer to the united states. china will have to decide,
depending on what the results of the arbitration are. we're watching that very, very closely. >> thank you. we go to ileana ross littinen of pla. our chairman amirity us. >> thank you to the council. secretary, for over a month i've been trying to get ahold of you by phone to discuss the problem between more aco and ban ki-m n ki-moon. you've not had the courtesy to return my call but at a hearing ten days ago ann peterson decided to work with me regarding the draft u.n. resolution that would renew the mandate of manu-rosso. it was obvious that this was going to be a problem for weeks and i would have appreciated a call back. as you know, the draft in its current form could very well jeopardize our relationship with
more aco and our important military and intelligence cooperation. there has got to be a way that we can find a compromise here and we can do it without including the controversial provisio provisions, including the one that will allow ban ki-moon do insult morocco and do further damage and i urge you to work with the moroccans today and fix it. what could you tell us about the draft resolution and what progress have we made? >> thank you. first let me apologize to you if i didn't get back to you. i'm sorry about that. would you be happy to follow up -- would be happy to follow up immediately this afternoon if that is convenient to you. >> that with be great. thank you, sir. >> second. with regard to the situation, we've been deeply engaged since this problem first emerged and that was the secretary general's visit to the region. we work very closely with morocco and the u.n. to see if
we could deescalate the problem and get them working together. i saw the foreign minister of more aco and he came to my office and secretary kerry saw him and we've had called to the king. here is where we are. morocco was very concerned with some of the things that the secretary general said during his visit to the region. we worked to ask the secretary general to clarify what he meant and he did that. we said to or moroccan friends that we hope that as we were looking at renewing the mandate, we wanted to renew it for one year without any changes. unfortunately, one of the things that morocco did in response to the secretary general's visit, they unilaterally decided to reduce and ask for the removal of members of the mission.
that creates a problem for us because as a member of the security cocil, we also have an important stake in making sure that u.n. peace keeping missions are -- their integrity is upheld. and if we allow a precedent by which a country could unilaterally decide whether to accept or shut down a mission or change the composition, that is a real problem, potentially in other areas, with countries, unlike morocco, are not close friends. >> when the secretary general of the u.n., sir, makes such a p provocative statement against morocco. it pinned them against the wall. >> and that is why we worked with the secretary general's office to get a clarification of what he meant and what he didn't mean. our hope is we could now get this resolution to a place where morocco's concerns are answered but also the integrity of the peace-keeping missions are upheld and that it could go back to fully functioning. as it was before. that is what we're trying to achieve.
but i want to assure you, we share your commitment to the relationship with morocco. this is one of the closest partners in the region. >> it sure is. >> and around the world. >> we need more moroccos. and moving on. thank you, sir. on the meeting of the sub-committ sub-committee, gao testified they are not in compliance with the nonproliferation or act or inxa a law that i offered years ago. it is an important none proliferation pool. they told us that the state noncompliance has undermined the credibility of our sanctions. we learned that state took almost three years to prepare one report and then implement sanctions and that your predecessor sat on the report for more than a year as it awaited approval. so gech that -- given that precedent, do you have a report that you are sitting on and have you signed off on it and what is the status of that report, sir? >> i believe the -- the next
report is being actively worked on and processed. it has not come to me yet. i can assure you, as soon as it does, i will move it out of my in box as quickly as possible. >> thank you, so much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we go now to mr. brad sherman of california. >> mr. blinken, congratulations on the new position. it's good to hear that you'll have a policy of returning members' phone calls and i hope that doesn't justify the lady from florida. asia is important. that's why it is important that we not enter into bad trade deals or unnecessary military confrontations in asia. now anyone who questions the adventures that are planned is patted on the head and told, well you just don't understand how important asia is. no, asia is so important that we
better think carefully about our policy. when it comes to trade, we're given straw men. we're told, well, if you don't like tpp, then we could have no trade. or we could continue the unbalanced trading system that we have now. without any discussion about a radical departure from our current trade system described to a -- designed to achieve balance trade. and when we're told maybe we shouldn't seek a new cold war over some islands, we're told that 25% of the world's trade goes through the south china sea, the vast majority of that goes in or out of chinese ports. meaning if they had control of the islands that may belong to them any way, they could blockade their own parts. i don't think that is something we have to spend a lot of money preventing. there is a tendency when making policy to yield to the interests
of the most powerful entity in this country that cares about that policy. and that is why, when it comes to trade policy, wall street is in the driver's seat. but the deal is so bad, that it has to be sold as a china containment policy because it is not a jobs-creation policy. but china enshrined the standard that currency manipulation is -- it goes hand in hand with trade deals. so they are the big winner. but they are even a bigger winner in the rules of origin, where goods that are admitted to be 60% made in china and actually 95% made in china, can then get a polish in japan or a few parts added in vietnam and be fast-tracked into the united states. so, um, we -- we do have -- when it comes to the geopolitics, the
pentagon is very powerful in crafting american national security policy. what need -- there needs now is a worthy uniformed adversary. every time our military has gone up against a rag-tag, ununiformed adversary, it has been an unpleasant experience since the philippinin surection. and every time we have gone up against a uniformed foe, it has been a relatively glorious experience. the most glorious perhaps winning the cold war without a major confrontation with the soviet union. so it is not surprising that thesis lets that are not ours and do not have oil and if there was any oil, it would belong to the people unwilling to spend their own money to defend the islands, that these are exaggerated in the great importance. i'm not saying that we don't care about navigation. it is obviously important. but to reconfigure the entire
pentagon to spend the lions share of a $600 million defense budget on confronting china -- and you can't -- it is a tough cost accounting job to determine what the defense budget is being spent on geographically. but i want to go to a completely different question -- north korea. north korea needed about 12 nuclear weapons to defend themselves from us and they have about 12. they have creating enough fissile material for another two or three weapons a year. they need money. iran has about 50 or $100 billion burning a hole in their pocket. and north korea sold the technology for the al cabar syrian-iranian nuclear weapons program that the israelis bombed in 2007. is the administration working toward and understanding with china that a iranian plane will not be allowed to fly to north korea without stopping in china
for fuel. and please don't tell me intercept ships or tell me that north korean planes might not be allowed to do that, i'm talking about an iranian plane going nonstop to pyongyang and coming back with a bomb. >> thank you. first let me just say, before addressing the question, which i do appreciate, with regard to the south china sea, we're not looking for conflict. we're looking to prevent conflict. what is at stake is not just the transit of energy and oil and goods and as important as that is, the larger principles at stake and they go to the entire foundation of the international order f. we don't defend the principles everywhere, the entire order that we've invested so much in building over 70 years is at risk -- >> mr. blinken, i agree with you. but at the same time if an argentina plane was coast to the falkland islands, we won't engage in that here. >> we engage in freedom -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> this one is getting more attention. >> leaving that aside, with regard to iran and north korea,
this is something that -- we are watching very carefully and you're right to, i think raise the subject. eve had a history of political engagement. some of the reports of military missile nuclear engagement have been much hard tore verify. >> are you denying the records that the al cabbar nuclear -- arms facility was north korean technology? >> i'm saying that what we're looking at is the concrete evidence of relationships across the board. beyond the political. what we're focused on is exactly what you pointed to. i think you make a very important point. what we're trying to do with north korea is to make sure not only does the ship not talk and the planes not land. not just in -- >> my question was about an iranian plane flying to new york. >> so we're working to make sure -- >> are we working to get china to say that they won't allow the plane to go across china without stopping for fuel where it could be inspected?
that is the only question. you're free to address others but that is the only question. >> the members of the united nations are bound by the security council resolutions that say that there is to be no military ballistic missile or nuclear cooperation with the dprk. >> so the iranian plane, if it went to north korea, would be violated a u.n. resolution but if it fly nonstop over china, no one would know about it. you are relying on iran's adherence to the resolution. >> we're looking to every country involved -- >> i would urge you to talk to beijing about making that plane land. because if your sole defense is the iranians wouldn't want to violate a u.n. resolution and feel bad about violating international law, that is insufficient defense. if the iranian plane going to north korea does not stop in china, then it may not have a trade delegate on it and may have cash going one way and
nuclear weapons going the other way and that is a very specific issue. i yield back. >> to the point that mr. sherman is raising, without objection, i'm going to put in the record a u.n. document that is drawn from some of our treasury documents that show two suspected primary arms dealers from north korea who visited the islamic state republican of iran and that information -- because it goes to the point that was being made from the gentleman of california. thank you, mr. blinken. we may -- we may have follow-up questions from the members on this specific issue. we now go to mr. chris smith of new jersey. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you mr. blifnken for your service here today. the wire service writers did a disturbing ex posey last year, a series of reports founding that the obama administration give
undeserved passing grades to 14 countries with deplorable and in many cases worsening sex and labor trafficking records, including china, malaysia and asia, cuba and imam and others making up 14 countries. i've had hearings, that was get it right this time with the tip report that is poised to come out shortly, being very concerned that when the administration does what it did, and that is give underveed passing grades to countries that have deplorable records, it sells out the trafficking victims in those countries and those who are hurt by those countries' governments and it also is a deplorable -- i think abandonment of human trafficking concerns that we as a nation have in a bipartisan way. will china and cuba and the other records be white-washed again this year. and secondly, i met with wynn
van dye in hanoi in 2007, he is one of the greatest peaceful human rights lawyers that i have met and i have met many in dictatorships like vietnam. will the president raise his case and demand his release? he has done nothing wrong. as you know, as we all know here in the united states. and he needs to be released immediately to let his wounds heal from the beatings that he's suffered at the hands of the vietnam government. and thirdly india and japan have engaged in clearly patterns of noncompliance with the goldman act on child abduction. both countries -- i've had nine hearings on child abduction. we've had parents, men and women, moms and dads, tearfully tell their stories with regards to japan as well as china -- as india and yet they have not been leveled -- specially japan, having a pander of noncompliance.
the april 30th deadline is fast approaching for that report. i hope that reality is contained in the error. finally, president chi is on a terror, crushing civil society with are finding that their people are being incarcerated. the g-20 will meet in september. our hope is -- that's right where the crosses are being taken off churches, bulldozing churches. is occurring. that the president will raise religion by xi jinping, announced last year and just most recently if a speech he made is all about all religious bodies having no contact outside the country's borders and secondly and ominously that everybody of faith has to serve the communist party.
that will destroy religion or attempt to do it. if you could answer those. >> first, let me just express my own appreciation the department's appreciation for your personal leadership on these issues and the focus thaw brought to them. it makes a huge difference around the world and indeed i've heard in places i've gone, that you've been there first and have been putting the spotlight on these issues and it really does make a huge difference. with regard to trafficking persons, i want to assure you we will do our very best to produce a gold standard report this year we're working on it hard. we've heard concerns that were expressed last year. we've looked to make sure that the process internally is as strong and effective as possible to produce the best possible report. people are working hard on it and we hope that's the conclusion you'll come to when you see it. with regard to the vietnam, i was just there. and indeed met with a number of civil society activists,
lawyers, we raised both individual cases and systemic problems that are, that remain in vietnam at the highest levels on a regular basis. i can't talk to the president's schedule at this point. but i'm confident he will be raising these issues. i met with some of the same people you've seen who are extraordinarily brave in what they're doing every single day. with regard to child parental child abduction, i was also just in japan. and raised this with the foreign minister, with the vice foreign minister with other senior officials. and we have concerns about japan's implementation of their commitments under the hague convention. and that's something that i know you've been very focused on. >> and briefly, those that were left behind from the date of ratification. those cases are heartbreaking and multi-yeared. >> absolutely. we're focused on those, as well as the cases that have arisen after the ratification. and then with regard to, to china, we, we very much share
the concern that you expressed. we see across the board, a crackdown on human rights and civil liberties, we've seen a crackdown against lawyers. i met with a number of lawyers last time i was in beijing in january. i heard directly from them, what that community is experiencing. i've met with religious leaders, as well and have heard what's happening there. is the laws that you refer to, we're engaged on them, the ngo law, the cybersecurity law, the counterterrorism law, the national security law, we have concern about the substance of the laws, and the implementation. the ngo law, they've moved the enforcement of that law to the ministry of public security which sends a terrible signal about how they see ngos which are actually acting to the benefit of china and its own people we share those concerns. i want to assure you, we will continue to put the focus on them, including what we can to make progress. one aspect of this is not just
us, but us bringing together other countries, to express concern, because there is strength in numbers, at the human rights council in geneva, we got a dozen countries to sign a statement expressing their concerns about the evolution of human rights and civil liberties in china. these things over time have an effect. we went through decades of cold war, with the soviet union. we thought and members of congress played leading roles in putting spotlight on that and the human rights abuses. for decades it didn't seem like anything was happening and then it was. soy think keeping at it can make a difference. >> the administration needs to change its position on our legislation, myself and mr. engel's overhaul of the broadcasting board of governors, with the same position that raid wroe free europe has, we need 0 get back to broadcasting that information into these countries, where totalitarian
system prevents people from having free access. to the truth. we go now to mr. gregory meeks of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. china's economy has entered a new phase. it has to contend with slower growth for the first time in decades. we should expect to manage the shift with domestic and international actions that are provocative. i'm convinced that our reaction should be a deepening of our ties regionally and multilaterally. as we do it's critical that we remember that some of our strongest partners in the western hemisphere are also strong partners in the pacific realm. and that we should build upon those relationships to work together in asia. there's no question in my mind that economic and diplomatic
engagement is our strongest means of influence globally. and that certainly is the case in asia. and i don't think militarily, when i consider any rise in tensions in the region as some do. i think about economic engagement instead. global rules and investment in cultural exchange. in fact, oftentimes people are looking at well china, i think tpp and the last i looked china is actually not a part of the tpp. so when we talk about tpp and china a threat, as we do tpp. well tpp is a counter to china and hopefully will get china to then adhere to global standards and rules, which they may not. which is more reason why we should do tpp because it's leveling the playing field for businesses with strong rules in place where they were weak or nonexistent. but my question is, from some of my colleagues that i hear issues back for, back and forth as we
debate this issue. even an agreement like tpp that has high standards, as you talked about is only as good as its implementation and enforcement. that's what i keep getting back. for example, i, i have some concerns about governments that develop state-owned enterprises that avoid living up to their tpp commitments and localization requirements that limit the competitiveness of u.s. companies all over security so my question would be first is how can the administration insure that our tpp partners adhere to the rules of tpp should we get it done. because that's always a question that you know, that some have. so how would we do that. and secondly, i think we do have to make the geopolitical there is a geopolitical argument to be made. geopolitically, what happens in the region that we're so concerned about. if we don't do tpp?
let me just ask those two questions first. thank you very much, congressman. first, i think you're exactly right about the potential magnetic pull of tpp on countries that are outside of it including china. it so happened that i was in the region when tpp, the agreement was concluded. i was in japan the day it was concluded. the japanese were extremely excited because their own leadership had helped bring us to that point. the next day i was in south korea, the question was when can we join and beijing, they've done a 90-degree turn, including in state party media. saying oh, this is something that could benefit us. because they don't want to be left behind. but of course to get in, they have to raise their game. they have to go to the high standards, not a race to the bottom. environment work for protections, intellectual property. this has the potential to pull countries up, not create a race to the bottom.
including with china. second, you asked very appropriately about enforcement and congressman sherman brought up a very important point a moment ago, some of the concerns that we've had with past trade agreements, i think it's a very well taken point. unlike previous agreements, tpp actually includes, a clear rule on rules of origin. we want to make sure that parties that are not part of tpp can't go to another country, have a few things done, and then have the product benefit the tpp rules so for example, china finishing something in vietnam, that's why we insisted the rule be part of the effort. but it has to be implemented. and everything else has to be implemented. that's why we've asked in our budget for a significant portion of resources to go to implementation. we want to make sure it's done seriously. finally i agree with you that look we can debate the economic merits of tpp. and no trade agreement is going
to be perfect. i think the larger challenge we face is 95% of consumers live outside of the united states. we have to reach them. the question is how are we going to do that and under what rules and who writes the rules. i think we're always better off. even if imperfect. if we're doing it as opposed to letting someone else do it it's more likely to benefit our companies and level playing field. we can debate the economic merits of it. strategically it sends a very important message. it sends a message to our partners in the region, we're there to stay. it's not just a security issue, in a challenge that may arise and gets our tension. and we're tied to be economically. as well as security considerations, it has this potential magnetic pull on countries outside the agreement who want to join it to lift their standards and it sets the standard for the values we'd like to see throughout the region. if we don't have the agreement, we jeopardize all of those interests.
>> we go do mr. dana rohrbacher of california. >> mr. chairman, i appreciate your leadership and the fact that you have spent considerable time and effort focusing on these specific issues. and mr. secretary, i am a bit concerned about maybe not about specifics about as much as your admirable optimism may be something that's admirable, but it's also of concern. may be more serious than your optimism suggests. sprattly islands, i hope it can be taken care of. in a consistent way, as what you and chairman royce and others, have tried to put forward, as a
game plan. that would put them into a position of pressure that the chinese in a position that would not permit this type, what i consider to be aggression. aggression of the world order, because you had no sovereignty over the sprattly islands. and now you have a claim by by a dictatorial government, beijing. over a hunk of territory in the middle of the most important trading patterns in the world. japan and korea is ultimate allies in that area. seem to be getting second shift on this. i would have to say that this should be of great concern, a greater concern to us than i believe the plan would suggest. because it's a pattern. sprattly islands is not just,
taken on its own, i would agree with less aggressive approach to the chinese. instead this is part of a very alarming pattern. the chinese still make major claims against india for example, i think their land claim against india is as big as texas. this should be, you couple the sprattly islands with that, couple it with the fact that the chinese are all over the world making deals with corrupt dictators. in order to fence in the resources necessary for an industrial society. cutting us off. we have, we still have basically for those of us who are, two-child policy, still maintains a mass slaughter of innocent children in the womb. and if not that, if you don't accept that about abortion, at
least you accept the fact that it's a violation, an attack on women's rights to decide. and of course you still have the chinese brutally suppressing the f falun gong and the sale of organs. we're talking about a monstrous pattern here and the sprattly islands should only be on the icing on the cake of how i would hope that, by the way, during this whole time that i'm talking about, these patterns have been going on. massive profit in their relationship with us economically. again you've made your case on the pacific trade agreement. might give some, give them some thought. but we are not withdrawing any of their ability to come here to
make the profit they're already making. one last thought. i think we ought to be more concerned about japan and south korea. but especially japan. than we are about trying to remain in a stable relationship with china. and my question for you while i've got a couple of seconds left that is, do we or do we not support president abe's efforts to introduce a new factor into the pacific which might deter the sprattly islands operation? meaning a rearming of japan? do we support that? i think japan has been our best friend through the entire cold war, never faltering, maybe we should make sure we make it a more equal relationship with japan and take abe up on his answer. >> thank you very much. first if i could say with regard
to optimism it may be an occupational hazard. but i appreciate the comment. two things, let me quickly say, the various the aspects of china's policies that you refer to, we share your view. and object to them. it was an improvement to go from the one-child policy to a two-child policy. we object to any limitations that a government would impose and we called for the release of 2,000 falun gong prisoners in chinese jails, as well as other people jailed for and repressed. the chinese say they've stopped the organ harvesting policy of prisoners as of last year. we have to see if it's being implemented. they've apparently made a change in that policy. with regard to japan and korea, we couldn't agree more. these two countries are at the heart of everything we are doing in the region. i have to say from my experience
at least, not only over the last seven years and particularly in this job over the last year, i've made four trips to jan japan and korea, in my judgment the statement of our alliances has never been stronger. we've worked very hard to strengthen what we're doing with them. with japan we have a major achievement with the revision of the defense guidelines that are allowing japan along with the changes its made in its own laws to play a much more significant role militarily, throughout the region. this is something we worked hard to achieve. it's going to allow us to expand our cooperation on everything from new realms in cyberspace and intelligence relevance, missile defense, maritime security, logistic support, peace-keeping operations, humanitarian assistance, all of that as a result of this agreement we have a new host nation support agreement where japan is contributing significantly to the support of our forces there. throughout the region we are working more closely than ever with them.
with the koreans, we have an agreement that's conditions based on the transition during war time of operational control that we worked very hard on that. we got another host nation support agreement with them for five years to support the presence of our forces, we have a tri-lateral information-sharing agreement between us, japan and creeia i've worked hard personally, to build a tri-lateral cooperative relationship between us and japan and korea. the three of us working together are a significant and powerful force, so we share the view that these two countries are at the heart of everything we're doing. those two alliances are the most important and increasingly we're actually managing to work together. >> thank you, mr. sears from new jersey. >> i'm from new jersey and we have a big pharmaceutical state. and i am very concerned about what goes on, wlat intellectual properties in this part of the
world. it's not just stealing technological and intellectual properties, it's some of the biggest research companies we have in our state are constantly complaining that we don't seem to do enough about standing stealing of intellectual properties. and now we have a couple of treaties coming up. i want you to reassure me so when i go back to and speak to these pharmaceutical companies that we're doing everything in our power to prevent this. so can you ease my pain here? >> i help so, counselor. i want to assure you, this is an area of intense focus. it has been, it will continue to be for the duration of this administration. we have different agencies, of the government that are intensely focused on this. we've made it a mission to both
elevate intellectual property right standards across the board, including through trade agreements like the trans-pacific partnership. which would have high standards on intellectual properties. one of the things that we've spent a lot of time on, is the deep concern we've had with the use of cyber realm to steal trade secrets and to use cyber for commercial gain. and this is an issue that the president engaged directly with president xi on and we've got an agreement with the chinese that they will not do that. now obviously that has to be enforced and implemented. at the same time, throughout the region and throughouted world, we're trying to stand up every day for enforcing the intellectual property rights of our companies, and every industry, including the pharmaceutical industry. this is very much at the top of the administration's agenda and
i think when i hear my colleagues from treasury, from commerce, from usdr, they are intently focused on this. i want do give you every assurance that i can. >> i know north korea keeps invading our computers and our systems here. i was wondering, are we reacting back or are we just trying to put up walls so they can't do it? that's got to be a price to be paid for what they're doing. >> we made clear that not only are we strengthening every possible defense. but that we reserve the right to respond at a time and place of our choosing. in a manner of our choosing so we're looking at a variety of ways of responding to any cyber provocations. >> like donald trump? thank you, i don't have any more questions. >> are you -- i thank my friend.
well mr. blinken. i wanted to follow up on my friend mr. sherman's statement against tpp and give you an opportunity. so let's say we pull the plug on tpp, either the administration says we give up, you're right, it's flawed or we in congress decide there's no way we're going to give this our approval, ever. what happens in a region to which we're pivoting and china has its hungry eyes on trade relationships and economic ties as well? >> thank you, congressman, one is in the immediate we'll lose market share, and the trade barriers that are high, for our workers and our products will remain where they are and maybe they'll even get higher. second we run the risk that other countries will take, try to take the mantle in writing
the rules with how trade goes forward. and i can almost guarantee you if we're not the ones in the lead of that effort those rules will not be adventurous to our workers and to our companies and they certainly will not be advantageous to the standards, we want to set the highest possible standards when it comes to protecting labor, protecting the environment, protecting intellectual property and good governance. we're at real jeopardy, potentially if we don't go forward in seeing an environment turn against our interests. when to the contrary, in is an extraordinary opportunity. we have in the region as people have pointed out, close to two-thirds of the global middle class. by 2030. that has extraordinary potential. as beyond what we see today as an export market. >> just a follow-up point. we hear lots of peel rail against china and its trading practices and currency manipulation and so forth.
for the record, do we have a free trade agreement with china? >> we are working on a bilateral investment -- >> do we have -- >> do not currently have. >> we don't have a free trade agreement with china? >> we're working on bilateral. >> you can't blame free trade in the case of china since we don't have a dpree trade agreement, is that not correct? >> as you know, it's it's a very complicated picture over the last 30, 40 years. if you look at the displacement in manufacturing for example over the last four or five decades. and something that we are deeply concerned b. because of the impact that it has on on our fellow citizens. much of this predates any of the free trade agreements of the 1990s, this started real flit 1970s, technology, robotics, is probably more responsible for those developments. that said, it's vitally important that in the agreements we reach, that the standards,
particularly for protecting workers, are the highest possible. and if the united states is not in the lead in forging those agreements, those standards are not going to the highest possible. >> thank you, mr. connolly. we're going to move to mr. shabut of ohio. >> thank you. let me begin with taiwan, mr. blinken. taiwan is going to be swearing in a new president in may. the dpp will be coming back into power. taiwan is i believe a very important u.s. ally. and i would also expect the prc and in all likelihood to act up, to try to throw its weight around, they are after all a classic bully, they'll want to show their displeasure in this election. they still have 1600 missiles pointed at taiwan. as mr. rohrbacker had mentioned, they're in the process of building islands, to the great dismay of all their neighbors
they're militarizing those islands now. occurring at a time when this administration, unfortunately, that is reducing or trying to reduce the size of our military, or navy, which i think is a terrible idea. i think clearly, first of all make sure that taiwan has a sufficient military and modernize that they are able to to keep china from acting out. i think that china ever acts is if they think taiwan is weak and that the united states lacks the resolve to defend taiwan. what would you say on behalf of the members of the administration, to assure taiwan that the united states will have its back? >> thank you very much congressman. first i think taiwan has given the world a very vivid demonstration of what a democratic election is and what a democratic transition is. that was a very powerful
powerful message. >> very good point, i agree. >> i met with the president, the new president, she came to visit washington this past summer. we had a very good meeting with her at the state department. >> we have strongly, encouraged the chinese to engage with her and with taiwan. in a manner of mutual respect with flexibility to try to build on the positive developments in cross-strait relations over the last decade or so. we hope the chinese will do that. second, we very much agree with you that what has given taiwan the confidence, to engage with mainland china, is the support from the united states including arms sales. we had wanted to make sure, as have previous administrations that taiwan could not be coerced to doing things against the will of its people. i think we notified something
like $14 billion in arms sales since 2010. we continue to look actively at that with regard to our own posture in the region, as i said, earlier, we now have approaching 60% of our navy in the region. we take very seriously. that taiwan must feel confident if its to engage from the position of strength with the mainland. the other thing i think it's important, i know you've been a strong advocate is that we want to make sure that taiwan and the talents of its people are able to be employed around the world against global challenges. so part of that is making sure that taiwan cab represented in international organizations. and we've been working very hard on that. to make sure that organizations where recognition of state is not required. they be able allowed in as members and where it is that they be able to participate irrespective of whether their statehood is recognized. so across the board we've been
working to strengthen our ties to the people of taiwan and support its efforts. >> thank you. let me turn to another topic. i don't know that we've discussed bangladesh at any length this morning. i think they don't want anyone to tell them they deserve more attention. first of all as we all know, an election was held a while back. and shay ka sienna was re-elected. boycotted the election and so the political situation is i think a bit iffy there. but let me ask you this. bangladesh has long been considered a moderate muslim country. and resisting islamic radicalism. there have been a couple of incidences just within the last week where we've seen a gay activist who was murdered. we've seen an english university
professor publicly murdered and it's believed that these are linked to extremists islamic intolerant type groups. could you comment on that? and what can be done about it? i'm glatt you're putting the focus on that. because that's a concern we share. we've seen a series of terrorist attacks in bangladesh over the last several months. including the ones you refer to which daesh or al qaeda have taken credit for. now the government has sometimes claimed these attacks were actually the work of the opposition. in one fashion or another. what we've seen based on the evidence to date is in fact that extremist groups, whether they are indigenous or whether they are affiliated with isil or daesh are responsible. this gives us concern about the potential for isil, for daesh to
take root in bangladesh which has been an important country in terms of having a moderate muslim majority country with a moderate orientation that can be an important player when it comes to dealing with islamic extremism. we've been engaging with the government on this problem. and also for example with india. given the relationship between india and bangladesh. to raise the concern and to try to work together with them. on countering violent extremism before it takes root in bangladesh. that's the last thing we want. >> thank you. >> now we'll turn to my good friend, mr. deutsche of florida. >> thank you, madam chairman. deputy secretary lincoln. thanks for being here today. thanks for your service to our country and thanks for being accessible to this committee. i would like to get back to talking about china, a lot of discussion this morning about tratd. i would like to shift to foreign
direct investment and in particular two areas. the area of security and the area of reciprocity. through one belt one road and the asian infrastructure investment bank. china has demonstrated a significant interest and willingness to investment abroad. but the domestic ownership requirements in china and some security review that takes place, i referred to as i think an opaque security review in china continues to frustrate american investors there. socy would just like to know as they pursue more outlets for foreign investments what are our options for pursuing reciprocity? two things on that, congressman. with regard to their investments abroad, on the first part of that occasion. as a matter of fact of principle, investments, particularly in infrastructure,
in various parts of the world, africa, latin america, central asia, are welcome and needed. what has concerned us with regard to china, is that those investments be made to high standards, not low standards, workers rights, intellectual property. good governance, they've established the asia infrastructure investment bank. we're not part of that. although if the bank operates to those high standards, we welcome finding ways to work with it and other existing institutions. the key is those standards, what we've found with china investing abroad is sometimes the bloom comes off the rose after a while. what tends to happen is this has come out of these driven, they're trying to get commodities out of the countries they're investing in. they do invest in infrastructure. they have a lot more state money than we have to invest. typically they import hundreds of chip he's workers to build the projects and that doesn't sit well with the host governments, the quality of what's built may not be up to standards, that tends to turn things a little bit.
when it comes to our own investment and the ability to invest in china, we are working across the board to get much greater access to get rid of the restrictions that inhibit our ability to do this. this is very much part of our agenda with them. and part of the bilateral investment treaty that we're seeking to negotiate is focused on exactly that. >> in particular on the issue of chinese direct investment in the united states, the committee on foreign investment in the u.s. has turned down a number of high-profile chinese acquisitions on natural security grounds. other deals, other deals fell apart and they were abandoned in anticipation of difficulties with sifius, it only review as small number of transactions every year. two questions, one, how might sifius alter their approach if there's a bilateral investment treaty with china?
the bigger question is with the significant amounts of capital that chinese are looking to invest in the united states, does the process, the sifi everyone s process still work? is it sufficient, given what might be coming to safeguard our national economic security interests, cyberinterests, all of the sorts of things we've been discussing already here today? is this creation that's been around since the mid '70s still work? or should we be looking at this in a new light? >> i think it's an excellent question and one that deserve as lot of, a lot of thought. i think the first point that you made is important. did only winds up applying to vae small percentage of the investments that are made or sought to be made. we're talking about a narrow
universe to begin with. second, as matter of principle we welcome investment. this is good for our companies, it's good for all sorts of industries. and it's something that as a general proposition, we want to encourage but sit vitally important that when it comes to national security, we remain vigilant. that's what sifius is designed to do i think you're right to raise the question about whether in the event of a bilateral investment treaty, the investment flow goes up significantly is that going to put further strain on the process? do we need to look at? that's something i would like to come back on if we can. it's a very good question we need to think through a little bit more. >> i would welcome that, thank you very much. >> mr. poe of texas? >> thank you, madam chair. thank you, sir, for being here.
one observation i want to spend most of my time talking about china. when i visited with admiral harris at pacific command, i asked him this question, of these five entities russia, china, north korea, isis in iran, i think those are threats to the united states, which of those five do you think is the most troubling at this point? he responded north korea. would you agree with that assessment or not? i just need a yes or a no? >> yes. >> i want to talk about china. china, a billion more people than we do in the united states. some americans don't realize how populated china is. and some facts about china. they are the number one recipient of poached ivory from
africa. the elephants are dying off, they're being killed in africa and the number one recipient is china. they are thieves, they still are strael our intellectual property. kribor attacks, i believe they're responsible for those, they're bullying asia. trying to make new sovereign territory in the south china sea and claim the area around it and they're helping pakistan with intercontinental ballistic missiles and human rights, they're the worst offender in the world. they persecute christian and other religious minorities and they have a practice of putting people they don't like, like the falun gong in prison and charging them with trumped-up political crimes and harvesting their body organs and sell those on the marketplace. that's probably the worst type of crime in the world. in my opinion. and of course, we don't say this any more, because it's not the right thing to say, but they
still are a communist nation. and that's who we're dealing with. we talk about pivoting to china. whether they're a threat and what we're doing about it. you talked about how we're increasing focused militarily, let me show you a few posters here, i don't know if you can see this, you can't probably see that behind all this is china and the south china sea. in 1999, this is about the, this is the relative strength of china in the red. and the united states in the blue. it's about equal. let's go to the year 2015. this is the chinese build up with ships, ships, submarines. and planes and the united states, military strength in the area. in 2015. i got this from pacific command. is about the same.
pacific command expects, that in 2020, i can get the poster. it's going to look like this. that china will have in all of these planes, intercontinental ballistic missiles, ships, submarines. it's going to be just about the same. without going into details of how much of everything, you agree that that is what is occurring in south china. thank you, congressman. we've certain seen a significant build-up in china's military capacity, over the last couple of decades. and in recent years. some of that i guess on what level is not surprising. as china grows and is more engaged in the region, it wants to protect its, those expanding interests. and what we've seen though are two things. we've seen an investment in these two capabilities. which i think the chart shows
very well. everything from cruz missiles, short to medium-range ballistic missiles, integrated air defense and the navy. they're investing in those capabilities, thee engaged in trying to transform what had been a mass ground-based force into a higher-tech force as well. >> that would include the number of military soldiers and sailors and airmen in these posters. to get to your -- >> what is our response? that's my question. >> first, of course their budget is opaque. it's hard to know exactly what they spend on the military. >> limited on time. what's our response. >> our response -- >> there is taking place what is the u.s. response to this, if anything. that's all i'm asking. >> few things, first our military budget remains roughly three times what theirs is and they're starting from a much
lower base, so the build-up is significant. but they're trying to match something that is started at a much higher level and continues to invest at a significantly higher level. second, this is our presence in the area over here. >> it will be about 60% of our navy by 2020. our technological capabilities, our experience, our capacity remains greater by far than any nation on earth, including china. i would defer to my military colleagues, i don't believe that'sing did to be challenged any time soon. >> so you're saying that even though this is our presence in the area, the theater i think the term. that it really doesn't alarm you, because we're building up our capacity in the future. >> i would say that we're being vigilant about the growth in china's military capacity. our own country remains
unmatched. >> go back to north korea, the biggest threat supposedly in the area. north korea intercontinental ballistic missile capability. they're developing the concept, not land to land, not sending something from north korea over to texas. build submarines and put intercontinental missiles on the sub and float them around the pacific. is that a fair statement of what the north koreans are trying to do? >> that's fair. >> mr. sicily of rhode island? >> thank you. thank you for your service and for being here today. i want to turn again do the issue of china and and after president obama and president zymet met in washington on the 31st of march. the two leaders affirmed cyber commitments and agreed to insure their full implementation. five days after that, admiral
rogers testified to congress that and i quote cyber operations from china are still targeting and exploiting the u.s. government defense industry academic and private computer networks. so m first question is are you aware of cases in which the chinese government may have supported cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property from the u.s. targets since september of 2015 and how is the state department in conjunction with the rest of th u.s. government addressing these challenges? >> i think there are two things going on here. it's no surprise that countries try to get information about other countries. and that goes on every day and it continues to go on of course from china in the direction of the united states. where we've drawn a very bright line is on the question of using cybertechnology to steal trade secrets, for commercial
advantage. and a critical component of the agreement reached between president obama and president xi is that china will no longer do that. it made a commitment, it's reasserted that, reaffirmed that in the g-20 as well as directly with us. and we have to make sure that that in fact is the case. i'm not personally aware of cases of current cases. i'm happy to go back and confer with admiral rogers. >> i would like to turn to the issue of north korea in the wake of north korea's recent nuclear weapons test and satellite launch. south korean society has begun to reengage in the debate about developing its own nuclear weapons capability. even though it relies on the u.s. nuclear umbrella. i would like to know whether you think that's support within the korean government for developing a nuclear capability and over the long-term, what should the
united states' response be to this development? >> you're right that that debate has emerged in south korea. president park was very clear in statements she's made that that's not the path that south korea should or will take under her administration. we've tried to make clear to aur i'll lies and partners that it is notnecessary, because we have their back, with the nuclear umbrella and every other means to come to their defense. we've reaffirmed that very solemn commitment to the defense of creeia we have strengthened our own relationship. one of the things that we've done is now engage in formal consultations with them on enemploying the missile defense system to south korea. and they're developing their own missile defense system. we've also been going very hard
at the north koreans on the nuclear missile program. >> finally, i would like to turn to malaysia. as you know well, there was significant concern about the upgrade of malaysia to the tier 2 watch list. and i wondered if could you speak a little to what progress malaysia has made particularly in the area of combatting human trafficking and human rights as well as human trafficking. since that time. and whether or not we should, what progress has it made. i think you're aware of the controversy that surrounded that change in that classification. >> as you know, we're actually working very actively right now on the new report for the past year. i can't speak to its conclusions because they haven't been reached. i can say generally with regard to malaysia, some of the things we have seen very significant and in fact unprecedented
consultations between the government and civil society and international experts to draft regulations. to inplemt the legal amendments that were passed by their parliament at the very end of the last reporting period. that would really empower the agencies to enforce the amendments that were reached. that doesn't mean it's dispositive that anything will conclude. this would allow victims of trafficking to live and work outside shelters, which is a strong consideration. i know we have remaining concerns about the conviction rate. in malaysia. that's something that will factor into the assessment. and we need to continue to work with them to build their own capacity to investigate, to prosecute to convict and we're doing that through for example through iom, funding some of those activities. i can't speak to you about the conclusions of the report, we
haven't reached them yet. i would say based on this, we've seen progress, but that's not dispositive of the conclusion. with respect to the implementation, one of the biggest issues, virtually no prosecutions so have you seen any progress on that? one thing to enact and begin to implement but if it's not enforced, have you seen any progress on prosecution? >> agree with you. i agree with you on that the enforcement is a critical piece of this. i'm not aware of significant progress on prosecutions. but i can come back to you on that. >> thank you and i yield back madam chair. >> mr. matt salmon of arizona. mr. blinken, let me go on record to say how commend the administration for pursuing deployment of thad in south korea. i think it's incredibly important. one of my frustrations is that many of these sanctions that we've done haven't moved the needle with north korea. i'm not sure any other sanctions
really well. i think that the one thing that will move north korea is some flexing of the economic muscles by china and we've got to figure out a way to get them motivated. they haven't been, they helped us a little bit at the u.n. and i appreciate that. with the multilateral sanctions. they hold a disproportionate influence with north korea than any of the rest of us or any of the other in the six-party talks. we've got to influence them to do the right thing and get north korea under control. last weekend china announced it 0 formed a consensus with brunei, cambodia and laos, is that rocks and shoals in the south china sea are not an influence between china and the association of southeast asian nations, asean as a whole. at the same time china consistently relies on asean's conduct of parties in the south
china sea citing, to argue it's not subject to binding argue trags brought under the law of the treaty by the philippines. can china have it both ways? is china trying to sideline asean in relation to the south china sea maritime disputes? and what's the administration's response to the quadry lateral consensus between china, brunei, cambodia and laos and what's the administration's position on asean's role in resolving the maritime disputes? >> i appreciate your comments on north korea and i agree very much with you that china has a unique role to play because of its unique relationship with north korea. we're seeing some positive steps forward in terms of implementation of the security council resolution. but it's not yet dispositive. i could not agree with you more that china can't have it both ways. it can't be a party to the law of the sea.
convention and then ignore or reject the provisions of that treaty. including arbitration, as an appropriate mek nigs and the binding nature of any arbitration decision on the parties to that decision. so we would expect that china as a party to the law of the sea convention, once the decision is issued by the tribunal, will respect it. it can't assert the law of the sea and not respect its decision. second with, regard to asean, i think you're exactly right. we've worked very hard to build up asean, as an organization to make sure that it created a space in which countries that individually might not have the confidence to take on difficult issues like the south china sea. might feel some greater strength in numbers collectively. the president as you know has the historic summit with the asean countries a few months ago. we're looking to asean as it did most recently.
at that summit to express its support for the basic principles, we would like to see it happen when the arbitration decision is issued as well. >> on the agreement you referenced with brunei and laos, i think there's a lot less there than meets the eye. >> i hope so and i hope asean really does step up to the plate when it comes to dealing with these maritime disputes and resolving them. i think the more they speem with one solid voice, the better chance we have of resolving this without the conversatiflicts th hope we don't have. it's very optimistic about our economic opportunities in the region and i'm a strong supporter of tpp. but i would also like to see us further enhance our trade ties with india. as such i've introduced legislation in concert with senator cornyn pushing for india's entrance into apec what
do you see as the obstacles to that getting done? >> first, we welcome india's interest in joining apec. we welcome and i've said this directly to my indian counterparts talking to them how they see apec fitting into their own thinking about their economy, about trade and the evolution they would make. i suspect we will have those conversations going forward. i also very much agree with the larger proposition, that you cite about the importance of india. and in particular, the importance of trying to deepen and expand our own trade relationship with india and its own relations in the area. i think a few things in terms of obstacles, first of all the other members would have to agree. i'm consensus-based organization. the other thing i'll tell you and i think you know, this is a consideration as well. we want to make sure that as
countries join organizations like apec, that they are going to work to productively, cooperatively uphold rules and standards and to be productive partners in that enterprise so that's one of the things we'll be talking to the indians about. the bottom line is we welcome their interest and we'll be talking to them about it. thank you. >> mr. daniel donovan from new york. >> thank you for your attendance and testimony today. in february of this year, the u.n. came out with a report about vietnam making prohibitive purchases of weapons from north korea. as the president and this administration is about to enter into a trade agreement, should their, their, this avoiding and actually unlawfully purchasing
weapons from north korea be a consideration as we enter into a agreement with vietnam? >> we would be concerned with any country violating its obligations under the u.n. security council resolutions in terms of purchasing or making available to north korea weapons. and if that's the case with vietnam, that's going to be a concern. we're being very vigilant about making sure that countries are not doing that. >> you also indicated about supplying north korea with weapons. that same u.n. council has indicated to us that cuba is providing north korea with the illegal weapons as the administration tries to renew relations with cuba. should that be a consideration as we go forward. >> as you know there was an incident in which a ship that was transporting weapons which originated cuba and seemed to be heading for north korea was stopped by the panamanians. and weapons were found on board. the weapons were confiscated. the ship was finally returned to
the north korean ownership there was a $700,000 fine that was paid. the captain was detained. we've come down very hard at the united nations on this shipment, including putting a spotlight on it. putting a spotlight on cuba's apparent role in helping to facilitate the trade in weapons, it's a real concern and we've been very vigilant about making clear that that's unacceptable. >> finally mr. secretary, yesterday i met with steelworkers from my district. very concerned about china manipulating the steelmarket in the world. we've had zero growth in steel production in our country over the last 25 years. i think europe's steel production is down about 12%. that's fear that china is manipulating by selling steel below market price in order to box everyone out. everyone else out. is the state department looking
into that? and what is the position of the administration? >> congressman i can say generally two things. first, my colleagues in the treasury, commerce, usdr are across the board very vigilant about trade enforcement with regard generally and with regards to china specifically. we have overall file i think 20 wto enforcement complaints since 2009. the most of any country. and by the way, we've won all of the cases that have been decided. with regard to china specifically. not in steel but nor generally, just this past month they signed an agreement ending export subsidies as a result of a challenge we made to those subsidies at the wto. a year ago we won a challenge to compliance to high-tech steel, duties we had challenged them on and it contributed to $250 million annual loss to our exporters, that ended as a
result of the enforcement actions that we took. in 2014, there was a finding against china on duties and quotas on rare earths and tungsten. and finally we issued it again as a result of an action that we took and in 2014 there was a finding of breach regarding unjustified duties on cars and suvs, $5.1 billion worth of cars and suvs. so there, too, we got a decision. i can't speak to the specific case you reference but i can promise you, i'm sure my colleagues and i are looking at this very carefully. and based on the trord date. if there's something that's actionable. we'll take action. >> appreciate that, mr. secretary. because i know the american steel workers would appreciate it as well if you and the administration could look into that. mr. chairman i yield back the rest of my time. >> we, we are at adjournment here. i do want to express our
appreciation with the deputy secretaries time this morning and thanks for meeting with us after your recent trip back from asia. as we've discussed the united states is adiscussed, the unite states is a pacific power, has tremendous interest in asia, we have allies in asia. so we look forward to working with you on issues like the north korean sanctions that i suggested. we need full implementation on that. and on the transition in burma. on the new government in taiwan and taipei. so many issues for us to continue to collaborate on and deputy secretary, thank you again. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. >> we stand adjourned.
the white house correspondents association is hosting its annual dinner this weekend with speeches from president obama and comedian larry willmore. here's a look at some of the other entertainers from past years who have hosted the event. >> but this is amazing. the first black president. i know you're biracial. but the first black president. you're proud to be able to say that. the first black president. you know, well, that's unless you screw up. then it's going to be what's up with the half white guy, huh? [ applause ]