Tracking Number:  216568

Title:  "Baker Says China's Missile Assurances 'Important'." Portion of Secretary of State Baker's testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Aid. (920225)

Date:  19920225

*EPF202 02/25/92 * BAKER SAYS CHINA'S MISSILE ASSURANCES "IMPORTANT" (Excerpts: House Appropriations testimony) (1600) Washington -- Secretary of State James Baker told a House subcommittee that China's written assurances to him that it will abide by the guidelines and parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) are an "important step" and "real progress -- but progress we must monitor very closely in the months and years ahead."

Baker, appearing before the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee on the subject of foreign aid February 24, said that "it is very important to get the agree to follow the MTCR." But if they don't, he said, they will be subject to sanctions.

Following are excerpts of Baker's testimony: (begin excerpts) SECRETARY BAKER: Foreign assistance remains an essential tool in advancing United States interests in the 1990s. It permits timely, flexible support for our interests in political pluralism, free market economic development, peacemaking, strong alliances, and the war on the drugs. Our program will decrease military assistance from $4.7 billion to $4.2 billion, cut economic support funds from $3.2 billion to $3.1 billion, and keep development assistance roughly constant at $2.5 billion.

Other features of our budget include increased aid to Eastern Europe, an Asian environmental initiative, a capital projects fund to help recipient countries invest in infrastructure critical to development, and continuing support for the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative. This budget, Mr. Chairman, also reflects our strong backing for multilateral development institutions that foster economic reform and growth in developing countries.

REP. LAWRENCE SMITH (Democrat of Florida): I'd like to raise the issue of China for just a moment if I could. Many of us are quite disappointed that, as we read over the weekend, that you all apparently have made a decision in the administration to resume high technology transfer shipments and approvals to China because they've given you some kind of oral commitment that they will respect -- and I don't know exactly what it is, I don't know whose policy it is -- arms control in the Middle East region. I really don't understand that at all. They have proven time and again incapable of adhering to any coherent policy which we have espoused. As you know, they shipped missiles secretly to Saudi Arabia and others, and Syria before and during the Gulf War. I really don't understand why it is so important for us to be making these high technology transfers to China at this moment when, in fact, much of what they do is basically abhorrent to our existing policy. And the Congress has spoken out so many times on this issue. Why is it that the administration feels so driven to keep the relationship with China after Tiananmen Square, for which they paid no price whatsoever? Why do you feel it so important to keep that relationship at the high level that it is with technology transfers and other shipments?

BAKER: We're not promoting technology transfer to China. We're not shipping technology. What we're doing is lifting some sanctions that we put on last June that have to do only with proliferation concerns in exchange for China's written agreement to comply with the guidelines and parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a very, very substantial and significant step forward if they will adhere to their commitment. If they don't, we will follow United States law and there will be sanctions again. But we think it's very important to get the Chinese -- who in the past have been the source of some of destabilizing missile transfers in the Middle East -- to get their agreement that they, too, will follow the missile technology control regime guidelines and parameters is very worthwhile, Mr. Smith, if you're really interested in stopping the proliferation of weapons. And it'll move us more in the direction, I think, that you want to go and we want to go than if we just said, "Oh, well, that's nice -- too bad," and let them go on and sell missiles in there. If they do it now, having adopted the guidelines and parameters, they'll be subject to sanction under US law, and sanctions will go right back on.

BAKER: Furthermore, they specifically have agreed to apply the guidelines to transfers of the M-9 and M-11 missile, which are missiles that I know you, as one interested in the Middle East, have been very concerned about.

SMITH: Certainly the M-9. Well, I appreciate the response, Mr. Secretary, but my feeling is that we have done far too much to give the Chinese what they are looking for, and have received not enough in return for the problems that they have created for us in the past.

REP. SIDNEY R. YATES (Democrat of Illinois): Have we ever expressed to China our opposition to her taking over Tibet and that she ought to get out of Tibet?

BAKER: We recognized Tibet as a part of China a long, long time ago. YATES: What happens to the independent status of Tibet, then? It's gone. BAKER: Well, as far as the state of our recognition, that's correct. REP. DAVID R. OBEY (Democrat of Wisconsin): On China. This was raised by several members, Mr. Smith and Mr. Yates. We see now the Senate planning to act on MFN legislation for China very soon, because of problems that we see with human rights, proliferation and trade. We're kind of in a bind, Mr. Secretary. The administration has indicated its differing views with a lot of us in Congress on the question of trade vis-a-vis China.

Let me tell you my practical concern, and I hesitate to even say the public, but I know it's there, and so I might as well say it. I'm concerned that because there is such wide-spread unhappiness with the administration's policy with respect to China that someone is going to offer an amendment simply making a significant dent in funding for the international financial institutions, which at this point are providing lending to China. As you know, that gets us in a serious problem because the banks cannot accept any money if it's tagged in any way under their charters. So an amendment of that nature, in fact, would put them out of business in terms of it being illegal to function with our support.

The administration says don't isolate China, the best way to deal with them is to bring them along, relate to them. And yet on the UN population fund, the president vetoes the entire foreign aid bill or says he will if there's any money in for UN population. So in that instance we are isolating ourselves from any ability to leverage that agency's policies in China or anyplace else. And I guess I just have trouble finding the consistency in the administration's position and would ask you to comment.

BAKER: Well, I think the UN policy is one that has been the policy of this administration and the prior administrations for a long, long time. And I think that's a special case, a special circumstance.

Let me say that we do believe strongly that we should not isolate China, in terms of cutting off relations, in terms of cancelling MFN. We do have human rights problems with China, and we've made those well-known to the Chinese leadership. We have made some progress on our proliferation concerns involving China, Mr. Chairman, and when you get China to say they're going to subscribe to and abide by the Missile Technology Control regime, guidelines and parameters, that's very, very good. It's good if they do it, and if they don't do it, we haven't prejudiced ourselves; we're quite free to sanction the minute we find evidence that they would be violating that commitment.

On trade, we just negotiated an intellectual property rights agreement with China, which our industry finds very, very satisfactory and about which they're very pleased, and which will mean some economic gain for the United States. And so these are the things that you risk when you cut off relations, or when you cut off MFN, or when you isolate China. We would not be able to deal with them, to try and get them to come along on our proliferation concerns, to try and get them to come along on our trade concerns, or even for that matter, to try and get them to change their policies with respect to human rights.

The people that will be hurt by a cancellation of MFN for China are the reformers in China, the people in Guangdong Province and elsewhere who are moving fairly rapidly to change the economic situation there. And as the economic situation changes, Mr. Chairman, the political situation is going to have to follow.

OBEY: Well, Mr. Secretary, I guess I would simply say that I'd find that argument more convincing if we were following the same logic with respect to the UN population program. I mean, it seems to me we ought to either be following the engagement strategy in both or in neither, but not one strategy in one and one in the other.

BAKER: Well, the population policy was something that was decided upon a long time ago, and has been, with respect to which the administration's approach, has been very consistent. But it's not something that has arisen in the context of Tiananmen Square, or human rights violations in China, or whether we should or should not have MFN, it's something that was there before. It's longstanding US policy.

(end excerpts) NNNN