Testimony on HB 5024 schedule for hearing on 4/14/15:
Please hold a hearing on how Oregon should respond to economic growth in China and to "China's accelerated military modernization program." Oregon's higher education institutions have many professors knowledgeable about China. Invite some to testify on two significant questions:
Could Oregon increase its future economic development by teaching more of its students Mandarin and sending them to study abroad in China?
Could Oregon reduce the likelihood of war with China by teaching more of its students Mandarin and sending them to study abroad in China?
The 78th Legislative Assembly (2015 Session) has not yet in any of its committees held even one hearing on what the economic and military rise of China means for Oregon. This is an important topic and should not be ignored. State government plays an important role. Do not assume otherwise.
Let me underscore the seriousness of these topics by quoting from the "2014 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission:"
China has been aggressively advancing its security interests in East Asia. This has led to tension, confrontation, and near-crises with its neighbors and the United States and has fueled competition with the United States that increasingly appears to be devolving into a zero-sum rivalry. A central characteristic of this pattern is Beijing’s effort to force the United States to choose between abandoning its East Asian allies to appease China and facing potential conflict with Beijing by protecting its allies from China’s steady encroachment. China’s pattern of behavior is likely to persist.
As a result of China’s comprehensive and rapid military modernization, the regionalbalance of power between China, on the one hand, and the United States and its allies and associates on the other, is shifting in China’s direction.
China’s accelerated military modernization program has been enabled by China’s rapid economic growth; reliable and generous increases to the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) budget; gradual improvements to China’s defense industrial base; and China’s acquisition and assimilation of foreign technologies—especially from Russia, Europe, and the United States—through both purchase and theft.
Since 2000, China has significantly upgraded the quality of its air and maritime forces as well as expanded the types of platforms it operates. Together with the fielding of robust command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, these improvements have increased China’s ability to challenge the United States and its allies and partners for air and maritime superiority in the Asia Pacific. China’s power projection capability will grow rapidly between now and 2020 with the addition of up to approximately 60 new submarines and surface ships; China’s first carrier-based aviation wing and second aircraft carrier; and 600 new modern combat aircraft, including China’s first fifth-generation fighters.
After over a decade of research, development, and production, many of China’s regional strike capabilities have matured. China’s ballistic and cruise missiles have the potential to provide the PLA with a decisive military advantage in the event of a regional conflict and are contributing to a growing imbalance in the regional security dynamic. China now is able to threaten U.S. bases and operating areas throughout the Asia Pacific, including those that it previously could not reach with conventional weapons, such as U.S. forces on Guam.
China’s nuclear force will rapidly expand and modernize over the next five years, providing Beijing with a more extensive range of military and foreign policy options and potentially weakening U.S. extended deterrence, particularly with respect to Japan.
China is becoming one of the world’s preeminent space powers after decades of high prioritization and steady investment from Chinese leaders, indigenous research and development, and a significant effort to acquire and assimilate foreign technologies, especially from the United States. Qualitatively, China now produces near-state-of-the-art space systems for certain applications, such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
satellites to support China’s long-range cruise missiles. Quantitatively, China’s numerous active programs continue to increase its inventory of satellites and other space assets.
Based on the number and diversity of China’s existing and developmental counterspace capabilities, China likely will be able to hold at risk U.S. national security satellites in every orbital regime in the next five to ten years.
Fundamental U.S. interests are at stake in the evolving geopolitical situation in East Asia and the Western Pacific. China’s rise as a major military power in the Asia Pacific challenges decades of air and naval dominance by the United States in a region in which Washington has substantial economic and security interests.
Thank you - Dave Porter, retired, SE Portland resident, representing only myself