Sino-US Defence Ties:Whys and Hows of Their Recent Engagement
-Swaran Singh, Research Fellow, IDSA
The Sino-US defence ties have certainly come very far from their nadir during the long winter of 1995-96. This sudden slide had started with a Chinese diplomatic showdown following the US decision to ignore Chinese protestations and threats and allow President Lee Teng-hui's "private visit" to New York in June 1995. To recall, China regards Taiwan as its renegade province and abhors any international recognition of its ruling regime. However, despite the fact that Beijing went to the extent of recalling its Ambassador from Washington, the Americans continued to appear as if on the Taiwanese side. So much so that while Taiwan decided to hold its first-ever popular Presidential election in March 1996 and the Chinese responded by launching a spate of missile tests and other military exercises in the Taiwan Straits, the world witnessed the United States clearly taking a strong pro-Taiwan position by dispatching three aircraft carriers to stop China from bullying Taiwan. Conversely, if one is looking for an opposite of 1995-96, then the recent East Asian visit by US Defence Secretary, William Cohen, can be safely described as the high-point of their recent post-Tiananmen Sino-US rapprochement.
The US Defence Secretary, William Cohen, recently undertook a 13-day-long seven-nation tour of East Asia where he visited Malaysia, Indonesia,Singapore, Tailand, China, Japan, and South Korea, in that order. For a change, in these capitals, he was seen repeating the sermon that Washington was no longer seeking confrontation with Beijing. Later, addressing the Press conference at the end of his three-day visit to Beijing during January 17-20, 1998, William Cohen told the world media that he had been successful in building trust with Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian and the two had agreed to gradually "deepen, broaden and advance our military contacts" in the coming years.1 So much so, that encouraged by the success of Cohen's trip to Beijing, the White House Administration responded by issuing the required certification on China's responsible behaviour on the issue of nuclear proliferation and giving hints of already contemplating lifting of their ten year-old trade embargo against the People's Republic. It was also said that an important announcement to that effect is likely to be made during the US President's forthcoming visit to China later this year.2 It is in this context of emerging new positive trends for Sino-US defence cooperation that this paper tries to examine the factors behind this transformation as also elaborate some of the details and enumerate their security implications for China's neighbouring countries.
East Asian Financial Crisis
East Asia's ongoing financial crisis provided the immediate backdrop to Cohen's maiden sojourn to this region. This strange happening perhaps partly explains why the US Defence Secretary appeared to be in such a hurry about evolving "comprehensive engagement" with the Chinese. From the American point of view, the financial crisis seems to have tilted the regional strategic balance in East Asia much too far in favour of Beijing. To being with, this currency crisis had provided China a unique opportunity to play an assertive role in what has been the well-known American bastion since the early 1960s. It was China's direct financial help in the beginning and especially its initial pro-active role in organising the rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that has resulted in raising China's popularity ratings in local multilateral forums. The United States, however, was not to be seen during these initial two to three months until it finally came into action about October 1997. Accordingly, this apparently changed new situation presents the United States with a double-edged security challenge:
* Firstly, the declining capacity for burden-sharing amongst these East Asian countries has opened a debate on the entire gamut of US military presence in Asia-Pacific; and
* Secondly, the ongoing financial crisis has also threatened the survival of the US defence firms which have been kept well oiled by these East Asian tigers though there had been a general decline in defence allocations following the end of their Cold War height during the late 1980s.
As a result of the financial crisis, countries like Japan and South Korea, have raised serious questions on the existing burden-sharing arrangements regarding the long standing US troop deployments which form the central element of the overall US' East Asian policy. Especially, in countries like South Korea, where the won has devalued by over 50 per cent, they have to now pay twice their normal allocated $204 million to supporting the staff in the American military bases. Making this more difficult for them, the conditions of the IMF rescue package have resulted in Seoul actually slashing its 1997-98 defence allocations by about 10 per cent, i.e. from $8.62 billion to $7.82 billion.3 Seoul has also asked Washington to consider rescheduling of its $1.1 billion payment for arms purchases which has been due for the current financial year as also to reduce the amount of Seoul's annual contribution towards hosting the US troops which currently stands at $399 million per annum.4 Considering the aforesaid decline in the value of the South Korean won, all these figures amount to far more money in terms of their local currency. All this had also made the US military presence a problematic issue during Seoul's recent Presidential elections. And here, one does not have to go very far to learn lessons from the recent history of American military presence in these East Asian countries. Not long ago, in 1992, the Americans had to vacate their most critical military bases at the Subic Bay in the face of the Philippine's growing domestic opposition to the US military presence. Since then, the US naval ships have not been allowed to even anchor in the Philippine waters. Similarly, Thailand has also rejected since 1993 repeated US requests to allow the use of the Gulf of Thailand for floating storage of US military equipment. And Thailand, though friendly, remains reluctant and this issue did not come on the agenda during their recent meetings with the US Defence Secretary.
Similarly, apart from raising long-term questions about the basic issues like US military presence, in the short-term these financial turmoils have already spurred postponement or cancellation of various arms deals by many of these East Asian countries. It was partly the orders from these Asian tigers that had helped American companies to maintain their defence equipment at competitive prices thus subsidising America's defence research and development as also making the Pentagon's own purchases cost-effective. This trend that had also started a certain boom for weapons manufacturers and, with East Asian defence allocations doubling during the last seven years, this had set off a scramble for new deals amongst weapon-exporting countries. Purchases by these Asian nations from American defence firms, which had accounted for about 10 per cent of US exports a decade ago, made up about 25 per cent of the $16 billion in weapons that US manufacturers sold abroad last year (1997). This growth has been particularly spurred by some major defence purchases during the last few years by East Asians nations like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.5
Marking a major turning point to this trend, Thailand, for example, has asked the Pentagon for help in renegotiating a $400 million deal for eight F/A-18 fighter jobs, 40 per cent built at Northrop Grumman's facilities in El Segundo, California.6 Similarly, South Korea has also postponed it plans to buy C-17 transport airplanes, early warning aircraft, coastal radar system and other weapons.7 This negative trend has been partly started by the US dominated IMF which is involved in a big way in rescuing the financial systems of these export-led East Asian economies. Agreeing to the proposed austerity measures, both South Korea and Thailand have already agreed to carry out similar defence expenditure cuts. Similarly, both Japan and South Korea have also begun to rethink on their investments in hi-tech weapons--AWACS and missile-defence systems--that the Pentagon had urged in a bid to move these countries towards a larger role in their own defence planning. This has meant additional financial burden for the Pentagon which is now not only expected to continue paying for the security arrangement with these allies but also pay for the rising per unit costs of the US weapon-makers where their recent sales to East Asia had helped them to keep their per-unit costs at more competitive lower prices. Otherwise, retrenchment remains the other last choice that these weapon-makers may have to resort to thus making their East Asia policy hostage to their domestic politics. All this shows how high are the odds against which the US will have to operate and re-define its East Asia policy in the coming years.
Containment vs Engagement
These aforesaid compulsions are fairly responsible for Washington's new-found zeal for building engagement with the Chinese. Apart from being goaded by East Asia's financial crisis, this recent change of heart can be traced back to the Pentagon's East Asia Strategy Report 1995, which was perhaps the first clear post-Tiananmen signal that the US defence establishment had officially underlined the desire for engagement with Beijing. This strategy report was broadly designed to outline how to manage the balance of power amongst East Asian countries. Towards that goal, among other things, this report had recommended a four-part strategy which included: maintain the forward presence of American forces; try to develop multilateral institutions; put US alliances, particularly with Japan, on the firm post-Cold War basis; and from that position of strength, encourage China to define its interests in ways that could be compatible with the national interests of the United States.8 Two years later, with the advantage of hindsight, the former US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs, Joseph Nye, gives the following four reasons why the Pentagon seems to have decided in favour of comprehensive engagement instead of confrontation which had defined their China policy during the Cold War years.
* Firstly, the containment would seem only to exaggerate China's military strength. Unlike the former Soviet Union, which had conventional superiority in Europe, China at present lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders.
* Secondly, as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear, the US can no longer develop a coalition to contain China even if it tries. China's neighbours do not see China as an imminent threat as the West European allies of the US used to see the Soviet threat, especially during the height of the Cold War years.
* Thirdly, "containment now" discounted the possibility that China could evolve to behave and re-define its interests as a responsible power. And by declaring China as an enemy the US would only ensure faster rise in China's nationalistic fervour and its military might.
* And finally, once accepted and adopted, the policy of "containment now" is most likely to become irreversible, while engagement could always be reversed in case US efforts fail to carry out their policy of seeking peaceful evolution of the Chinese society.9
The well known China scholar, Prof. David Shambaugh, in fact, goes a step further and concludes that the United States today has "no real alternative to engaging China." He cites how any attempt at containment can can lead to a series of counter -productive actions from the Chinese which can include: (i) increase in the sales of missiles and other dangerous technologies to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Burma and other rogue regimes; (ii) withdrawal from behind-the-scene help in implementing the North Korean nuclear accord; (iii) less cooperative stance in other regional and global security agreements; (iv) increased military pressures on Taiwan; (v) further restrictions on the freedoms guaranteed in Hong Kong; (vi) increased weapons development as also procurement from Russia; and (vii) greater priority to building blue-water power projections which could all threaten American interests in the East Asian region.10 In the face of China's increasing prowess and clout, the officials in the Pentagon have also repeatedly emphasised their difficulties in implementing containment. Even if successful, such a policy is widely expected to become counter-productive. As a result, "comprehensive engagement" has broadly come to be the formal name for Bill Clinton's China policy during his second four-year tenure in the White House.
Secondly, as regards the United States' own leverages vis-a-vis China, their security policy has lately become increasingly linked to their internal debates amongst various administrative departments as also at the level of their domestic politics between the Republicans and Democrats. Following the end of the Cold War era, as the US redraws the spectrum of its policy choices, the autonomy of the foreign and security policies vis-à-vis the domestic politics has generally declined as a result of the following three forces: (i) the evolution of democracy towards interest group participation; (ii) rising influence of the economic factors in determining external relations; and (iii) the former Soviet threat being replaced with intra-state issues like human rights as the future agenda for deliberations.11 Also following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the strategic union between the US and China has lost its raison d' etre and new defence cooperation is no longer determined by the bipolar system of the Cold War years but depends upon their bilateral equations and considerations. In the new perspective, therefore, Washington's long-term China policy views its relations with Beijing in terms of peacefully pulling China into the Western systems. In the short-term, however, its China policy has come round to be one of constructive engagement where, as yet engagement does not automatically mean endorsement of China's actions and policies. As regards China, its strategic interests also require a peaceful environment in which case Beijing has also come around in favour of developing friendly relations with Washington and trying its utmost to "reduce and avoid antagonism" with it.12
The 1990s had started with the United States unilaterally rescinding their "Peace Pearl "programme which had established the largest ever Sino-US technology transfer arrangement following their last détente since the early 1980s. This was part of Washington's post-Tiananmen policy response wherein all high-level contancts had been suspended and sanctions applied. Even later, for a long time, these interactions remained restricted to their Foreign and Economic Ministries/Departments. It was only during the later part of Bill Clinton's first tenure that a visit by the then Secretary of State, Warren Cristopher raised their level of interaction. The early 1990s also saw Beijing making gestures to appease the US strategic community. And here, among other things this resulted in China effecting fundamental shifts in its arms control policies and one by one, joining a whole lot of global and regional multilateral institutions and regimes. Amongst the international security regimes, this period witnessed China becaming signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). China also announced that it will be adhering to the principles and provisions of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Similarly, at the domestic level, China announced a series of measures, the last one being the "nuclear export control list" of September 1997, which was clearly aimed at placating American fears about China's nuclear proliferation.13 This also fulfilled one of the conditions that the US Administration has laid down before their President issues the required certification to revive the Sino-US Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement of 1985.
The first American response to transformation in China's policy postures had come in the form of a visit by the Defence Secretary, William Perry, in early 1995. Later, the new Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright and many other high-ranking officials visited China which has resulted in further intensifying their military-to-military interactions which now cover various broad-based military related issues like arms control, drug-enforcement, operational doctrines, training and other confidence building measures (CBMs). Cooperation between their defence establishments is definitely seen today as the key component in President Bill Clinton's "comprehensive engagement" policy since the mid-1990s. From the Chinese side, despite two postponements, Chinese Defence Minister, Chi Haotian, finally visited the United States in December 1996. General Chi, who became the first Chinese Defence Minister to visit the United States since 1986, was taken to a variety of military facilities and held formal as also one-to-one talks with both the then Defence Secretary, William Perry as also with President Bill Clinton.
This shift from both sides has also been facilitated by their respective domestic factors, especially by their business lobbies which China has so deftly used to its advantage. Accordingly, this exchange of visit by the Chinese Defence Minister and the US Secretary of Defence respectively in 1995 and 1996 triggered off a series of exchange of visits between high-level military delegations from both sides. China's Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Kui Fulin, another Deputy Chief, Wu Quanxu, Chief of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff, Fu Quanyou, and Deputy Chief of General Staff, Lt Gen. Xiong Guangkai visited the United States respectively in February, July, August and December 1997. From the US side, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, John Shalikashvili, the Commander-in-Chief of US Pacific Fleet, Dennis Reimer, the Chief of Naval Operations, Jay Johnson and the Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command, Joseph Prueher, reciprocated these visits last year which formed the backdrop to Secretary Cohen's visit to Beijing in January this year.
William Cohen's Visit to Beijing
To precisely enumerate some of the concrete achievements of Defence Secretary Cohen's recent maiden visit to Beijing, the following can perhaps be counted as basic breakthrough decisions in building the sinews of the Sino-US defence cooperation which will have a far-reaching impact on Asia's future profile. These include:
* Signing of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement, 1998.
* The US obtaining specific assurances against China's missiles supplies to Iran.
* The US delegation being allowed to visit a secret air defence centre in Beijing.
* Planning for increased interactions between their military establishments.
* Shift from stressing on China's human rights records to joint humanitarian efforts.
Firstly, concluding the process of evolving a mutually acceptable naval "rules-of-the-road" agreement that was broadly forged during President Jiang Zemin's visit to Washington last October, China's Defence Minister, Chi Haotian and US Defence Secretary, William Cohen, signed the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement which is the first such important defence cooperation document since their "Peace Pearl" programme of the mid-1980s that was unilaterally rescinded by Washington following the Tiananmen Square incident of June 1989. This had put their earlier honeymoon to an abrupt end though the US had by then emerged as China's single largest supplier of military equipment and technology. Since then, Washington had been working towards its ultimate aim of expanding transparency in China's military budgets, planning and defence doctrines. And it is in this context that this new agreement marks the first step forward as it provides for annual meetings of senior military officials from both sides to work out maritime principles and procedures.
This evolved in the backdrop of the Sino-US naval stand-off during the confrontation between a Chinese nuclear submarine and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in the Yellow Sea and later during Taiwan's Presidential elections in March 1996 when the US had dispatched a two aircraft carriers task force warning China to keep off the Taiwan Straits. And here, these new initiatives are aimed at streamlining mutual understanding between the two naval establishments. To start with, these are expected to put in place protocols and communications between the two Navies to avoid misunderstanding, miscalculations and mishaps which, in the long-run, are expected to strengthen their broader framework of evolving CBMs between the PLA and the Pentagon. This is because, even before these two major confrontations, both sides had been highly sceptical of each other's actions for decades. Moreover, these new initiatives also hold special significance considering China's new-found zeal for expanding its blue water capabilities that have lately emerged as the central pillar of its future power projections.
Secondly, again continuing the process of evolving CBMs that had started at their Presidential summit in Washington last October, the US Defence Secretary is said to have obtained assurances, this time in more specific terms from the Chinese President as well as Chinese Defence Minister to the effect that China will not supply either missiles or missile technologies to Iran which, despite Tehran's new overtures, the US continues to treat as its major adversary in the President Gulf region. And here, the contribution of Cohen's recent visit to Beijing lies in the fact that going a step further than President Jiang Zemin's commitment last October, Secretary Cohen is said to have been assured that China will not supply even the contracts that are pending with Iran. Also, China has promised not to be party to either any technology transfers or any other technical assistance to Tehran towards the latter's upgrading its existing over-the horizon missile capabilities.
To recall, supplies of the anti-ship cruise missiles C-801 and C-802 to Iran had become a major irritant in China's relations with the United States. According to US officials, China is believed to have supplied between 100 to 200 such land and sea-launched cruise missiles to Iran during the last four to seven years.14 Speaking at China's Academy of Military Sciences in Beijing, Secretary Cohen, at great length tried to explain the US position on this issue. According to him, the US regards Iran as a major threat to American and other shipping in the Persian Gulf region. He cautioned that China itself depended so heavily on the oil supplies from the Persian Gulf and that any disruption in shipping in this region will adversely affect China's own economic performance. Moreover, in case it involved the use of weapons exported by China, then any such incident will also have adverse implications for the process of the Sino-US rapprochement. The message, in fact, was so loud and clear that the Chinese side did not seem very pleased with this veiled threat by Secretary Cohen. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman while briefing the Press on Cohen's visit also asserted that China's weapons exports did not breach any law or procedure and that China was proud to be an ardent participant of the UN Arms Register. He also said that China has been extremely responsible and there will be no change in China's weapons export policies. Similarly, Defence Minister, Chi Haotian, was also reported to having raised concerns about Washington's new defence arrangements with Japan and its recent attempts at courting the ex-Soviet Republics. He also questioned if that was the workable approach towards ensuring Asia's stability and peace.
But that was perhaps not the tenor of the PLA's closed door meetings with the 57-member delegation led by Secretary William Cohen. From their overall response, China's military appeared too willing to reciprocate in a positive manner, thus, seeking engagement with the Pentagon representatives. This new openness and warmth was underscored by the PLA's unprecedented gesture of allowing Secretary Cohen and his 14-member team--which included the Commander of American Asia-Pacific forces, Joseph Prueher, and Assistant Secretary of State, Stanley Roth--to visit one of China's top secret military facilities which had remained undeclared until a fortnight before Cohen's visit. This visit to a second-storey air-defence centre in Beijing was added to Cohen's programme only a week before his arrival at Beijing. According to reports, this facility tracks thousands of aircraft in the region daily and can be used to coordinate defence by a number of regional centres against missile or air attacks. At its core, this air-defence command centre protects a 200-mile radius around the national capital region of Beijing.15 Though US officials described it as a mixture of 1960s technologies, this was the first such occasion when Americans were allowed to visit such a facility and, therefore, marks the high-point in the evolution of CBMs between the military establishments of both sides.
William Cohen became the first American Defence Secretary to be received at the Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA and he also visited some other military facilities apart from the aforementioned academy and air-defence centre. The same spirit of understanding and confidence seems to have prevailed during Cohen's closed-door meetings with President Jiang Zemin and Defence Minister, Chi Haotian, where the two sides finalised details for the next two years' programme on exchange of high-level visits. For a change, the US Defence Secretary was not seen talking of China's human rights or intellectual property rights. Instead, he asserted that both sides had decided not to stress on their differences on issues like trade, Tibet or Taiwan. The US military establishment, instead, discussed details of working out joint humanitarian efforts towards providing help to China's earthquake victims and a second military planeload of blankets for this purpose was expected to reach Beijing soon.
Further, as a sign of their new-found enthusiasm, the official media also seemed to facilitate in building confidence by its sudden openness about defence spending and strategic interests of China's military establishment. The China Daily of January 18, 1998, for example, showed a rare glimpse of the PLA's vast commercial enterprise which has been one controversial source of China's military modernisation, figures on which remain very suspect to say the least. It was reported that exports by 1,400 military firms and research institutes had totalled $7 billion for 1997, half of which were said to be civilian products. However, Secretary Cohen, clarified that the US was not yet planning any weapon supplies to China though they remain keen to spearhead their defence cooperation in other related areas like sharing information and training facilities. The PLA, on the other hand, appeared very keen to exploit this occasion to attract foreign investments and was seen as projecting its research strengths and mass-production experience.
As a curtain raiser for the coming events, therefore, Cohen's recent visit to Beijing did highlight positive trends for the future of Sino-US defence cooperation. And here, apart from evolving cooperation in a whole lot of related issues like joint humanitarian operations, China has also been currently studying Cohen's proposal for exchange between the US Strategic Command and China's Second Artillery, the military units which control the countries' nuclear arsenals. This aims at reducing all chances of mistakes, miscalculations and accidents.16 Similarly, following certification by President Bill Clinton in January 1998 that China is not supplying prohibited missile and nuclear technologies to unsafeguarded destinations, the two have already revived their Nuclear Cooperation Agreement of 1985. In fact, in addition to now supplying reactors and other equipment, the two sides are already exploring avenues of cooperation to set up their first ever joint nuclear power plant during China's Tenth Five-Year Plan, 20001-2005.17 Similarly, under the broad spectrum of new initiatives where the PLA has also increasingly opened up its facilities for foreign investments, a top-secret military facility, Shanxi Industrial Castings Corp. (SICC), which had been part of Mao's Third Line policy and which had been abandoned following the decline in threat from the former Soviet Union, is being revived with the involvement of the American heavy-equipment giant Caterpillar Inc., and this joint venture might begin by supplying castings for General Motors which has recently announced a $1.5 billion car venture in Shanghai.18 Exchanging officers for training in each others' defence training facilities is another item that remains high on the agenda of future negotiations between these two defence establishments. In fact, their increasing regular military-to-military interactions have already been transparent, thus, generating greater confidence for working together.
And it is in this broader context that the recent currency crises in East Asia seems to have provided a boost for hastening their comprehensive engagement. In that context, all these interactions are only a forerunner to expected major new initiatives that may be launched in the forthcoming visit to China by President Bill Clinton. Already, the White House has recognised the People's Republic of China as a major Asian power which they now seek to engage. But from Washington's point of view, this as yet is not ordained for collaborations at the global level but only for managing Washington's continued military presence in the Asian theatre. However, this is also the region which is set to emerge as the new eipicentre of world affairs in the coming years. The Chinese leadership seems to find this newly acquired recognition as the world's second most important power very pleasing to say the least. In practical terms as well, this idea of Sino-US engagement seems very useful, which is partly because China can ill-afford a confrontation with the United States as it wishes to carry out with its modernisation drive which is geared towards obtaining great power status. In the short-term, therefore, while the US would not mind China preserving its unique identity, it would like to evolve its engagement in a manner that should make China more and more open in security matters. This perhaps explains why the momentum has lately been so smooth and the prospects look so bright for their new-found zeal for evolving Sino-US defence cooperation.
1. Chen Yanni, "Progress March for Sino-US Armies," China Daily, January 21, 1998.
2. "US Arms Embargo Against China may be Eased," The Hindu, January 20, 1998.
3. Bill Tarrant, "Seoul Defence Cuts Send Wrong Signals," Reuters at http://www.yahoo.com/text/headlines, January 22, 1998.
4. Lee Sung-yull, "Cohen Warns Against any Defence Budget Cut," The Korea Herald, January 23, 1998.
6. Paul Richter, "Asian Defence Cutbacks Amid Financial Crisis Concern Pentagon, American Manufacturers," The Korea Herald, January 17, 1998.
7. n. 4.
8. Jospeh S. Nye Jr., "An Engaging China Policy," The News, May 23, 1997.
10. David Shambaugh, "The United States and China: Cooperation or Confrontation?," Current History, vol. 96, no. 611, September 1997, p. 245.
11. Hanns W. Maull, "Reconciling China with International Order," The Pacific Review, vol. 10, no. 4, 1997, p. 470.
12. Zhang Yunling, "Changing Sino-US-Japanese Relations," The Pacific Affairs, vol. 10, no. 4, 1997, pp. 452, 454.
13. "Beijing to Control N-Exports," Hindustan Times, September 17, 1997.
14. Charles Aldinger, "China Leader Assures US on Iran Missile Sales," Reuters at http://www.yahoo.com/text/headlines, January 20, 1998.
15. "China Lets Cohen Into its Top Defence Site," The Hindu, January 21, 1998.
16. n. 1.
17. Liu Weiling, "Building of Nuclear Plants Goes Smoothly," China Daily, January 6, 1998; also "China, USA May set up Joint Nuclear Power Plant," The Statesman, January 7, 1998.
18. "An Unusual US-China Joint Venture," Khaleej Times, January 24, 1997.