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Former National Security Advisor Leads Delegation to China

Sponsored by American Foreign Policy Council
Beijing
June 8, 2010


     From May 30 to June 5, AFPC hosted a delegation to China led by the Hon. Robert  McFarlane, former National Security Advisor (Reagan), and including; Ms. Michelle Van Cleave, former National Counterintelligence Executive; Mrs. Charlotte Ponticelli, former Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor; and the President of the American Foreign Policy Council, Herman Pirchner, Jr.  The delegation met with top political, economic, and national security officials in Beijing, Tianjin, and Shaanxi province.  Among the subjects discussed were U.S.-China relations under President Obama, the sinking of a South Korean ship by a North Korean miniature submarine and China’s subsequent response, the Iranian nuclear program and international efforts to curtail it, China’s land and sea border disputes in Asia, a potential and controversial Pakistan-China nuclear deal, labor and demographic issues in China, the rights of U.S. ships to traverse the waters of China’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and China’s economy in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.                                                                                                                                                                                                         The delegation learned that in the wake of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Beijing in May, U.S.-China relations were on the upswing after souring in 2009 and early 2010.  The delegation noticed positive developments on Iran, where the Chinese have begun to acknowledge the full dangers and implications of an Iranian nuclear weapon, but noted less promising signs on North Korea, where China refused to condemn Pyongyang for the March 26 attack on a South Korean corvette which killed 46.  Chinese officials also downplayed U.S. concerns about Beijing building two new nuclear reactors in Pakistan, which has a notoriously poor nonproliferation record.  
    Meanwhile, China has weathered the global financial crisis better than most expected, with GDP expected to rebound to somewhere between 9 and 11 percent this year, after falling to only 8.7 percent in 2009. However, China is grappling with widespread and growing  labor disputes as shortages of skilled labor and improved information technology lead workers to organize and demand greater rights.
    On the issue of territorial disputes, Chinese officials insisted that talks with India on their multiple border disputes were ongoing but there were “huge gaps” in the two countries’ positions.
  of a South Korean ship by a North Korean miniature submarine and China’s subsequent response, the Iranian nuclear program and international efforts to curtail it, China’s land and sea border disputes in Asia, a potential and controversial Pakistan-China nuclear deal, labor and demographic issues in China, the rights of U.S. ships to traverse the waters of China’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and China’s economy in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.                     The delegation learned that in the wake of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Beijing in May, U.S.-China relations were on the upswing after souring in 2009 and early 2010.  The delegation noticed positive developments on Iran, where the Chinese have begun to acknowledge the full dangers and implications of an Iranian nuclear weapon, but noted less promising signs on North Korea, where China refused to condemn Pyongyang for the March 26 attack on a South Korean corvette which killed 46.  Chinese officials also downplayed U.S. concerns about Beijing building two new nuclear reactors in Pakistan, which has a notoriously poor nonproliferation record.   
    Meanwhile, China has weathered the global financial crisis better than most expected, with GDP expected to rebound to somewhere between 9 and 11 percent this year, after falling to only 8.7 percent in 2009. However, China is grappling with widespread and growing  labor disputes as shortages of skilled labor and improved information technology lead workers to organize and demand greater rights.
    On the issue of territorial disputes, Chinese officials insisted that talks with India on their multiple border disputes were ongoing but there were “huge gaps” in the two countries’ positions.