China US Relations

China, for most of its 3500 years of history, China led the world in
agriculture, crafts, and science. It fell behind in the 19th century when the

Industrial Revolution gave the West clear superiority in military and economic
affairs. In the first half of the 20th century, China continued to suffer from
major famines, civil unrest, military defeat, and foreign occupation. After

World War II, the Communists under Mao Tse Tung established a dictatorship that,
while ensuring autonomy of China, imposed strict controls over all aspects of
like and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor

Deng Xiaoping decentralized economic decision making; output quadrupled in the
next 20 years. Political controls remain tight at the same time economic
controls have been weakening. Present issues in China are: incorporating Honk

Kong into the Chinese system, closing down inefficient state-owned enterprises,
modernizing its military, fighting corruption, and providing support to tens of
millions of displaced workers. Today, China remains the major issue in U.S.
security policy in Asia. The currently dominant security policy holds that China
has essentially replaced the former Soviet Union as the chief strategic threat
to the United States in the region, and the U.S. should essentially retain its
containment strategy, with China as the new target. The basis of this new
strategy includes a strengthening of cold war-era bilateral military alliances
in with the development of a Theater-based Missile Defense system that would
cover South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Revelations in early-to-mid 1999
indicating a pattern of Chinese nuclear weapons and missile technology espionage
dating back from the 1970s to the mid-1990s has raised fears of China as an
enemy to the highest level in 20 years. China\'s defense budget has grown more
than 50% over the course of the 1990s and is said to have increased 15% in 1999.

China\'s occupation of 11 islands and reefs in the Spratlys, including Mischief

Reef, 378 kilometers from the Philippines is also used as evidence of the
expansionist nature of China. The accusations of espionage are more telling of
the weaknesses in U.S. security than of providing any significant evidence that
the Chinese have used this data to gain a qualitative strategic advantage
relative to the United States. A more balanced conclusion would be that the
espionage reveals that the privatization of the management of nuclear weapons
labs did not adequately take into account the United States\' national security
concerns. A report by Clinton\'s Foreign Intelligence Advisory concluded that a
"culture of arrogance" at the weapons labs had "conspired to
create an espionage scandal waiting to happen" while another report by the

General Accounting Office said that Los Alamos and Livermore had ignored
warnings about their security for years. The most recent news about the
espionage situation with China has involved a man name We Ho Lee. Lee was
terminated from his position at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in March for
allegedly passing on classified information on the W-88 nuclear warhead to

China. It is said that Lee leaked the documents electronically onto an unsecured
computer network. Since the furor over alleged Chinese espionage waned over the
summer, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials narrowed the list of
nuclear secrets that Beijing most likely stole while expanding the pool of
potential suspects. After three years of a narrow focus on the Los Alamos
nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico and Wen Ho Lee, officials now acknowledge that
the classified information China most likely stole was accessible to hundreds of
people at several federal facilities. A primary piece of evidence continues to
be a 1988 Chinese document that suggests China stole valuable information about
nearly every major weapon in the current U.S. nuclear arsenal, including the

W-88 miniaturized submarine warhead that is one of America\'s most sophisticated
weapons. This document was an important element of the report issued by a
congressional committee chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox on Chinese nuclear
espionage earlier this year. The Cox Report pointed to that document as evidence
of the extent of China\'s spying at U.S. nuclear labs. More recent assessments by

U.S. intelligence, however, conclude that a large portion of the information in
that document most likely came from publicly available documents, some of which
contained misinformation about American weapons. In the case of the W-88,
intelligence officials now believe the 1988 Chinese document, which U.S.
officials obtained in 1995, contains only a couple of pieces of classified
information that could have been stolen only from secure facilities. The growing
dominance of commercial over security issues (as evident in the cases of the
missile launches by Loral and Hughes) points to the