[House Hearing, 113 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
THE REBALANCE TO ASIA:
WHY SOUTH ASIA MATTERS (PART I)
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 26, 2013
Serial No. 113-1
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DANA ROHRABACHER, California Samoa
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio BRAD SHERMAN, California
JOE WILSON, South Carolina GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas ALBIO SIRES, New Jersey
TED POE, Texas GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia
MATT SALMON, Arizona THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida
TOM MARINO, Pennsylvania BRIAN HIGGINS, New York
JEFF DUNCAN, South Carolina KAREN BASS, California
ADAM KINZINGER, Illinois WILLIAM KEATING, Massachusetts
MO BROOKS, Alabama DAVID CICILLINE, Rhode Island
TOM COTTON, Arkansas ALAN GRAYSON, Florida
PAUL COOK, California JUAN VARGAS, California
GEORGE HOLDING, North Carolina BRADLEY S. SCHNEIDER, Illinois
RANDY K. WEBER SR., Texas JOSEPH P. KENNEDY III,
SCOTT PERRY, Pennsylvania Massachusetts
STEVE STOCKMAN, Texas AMI BERA, California
RON DeSANTIS, Florida ALAN S. LOWENTHAL, California
TREY RADEL, Florida GRACE MENG, New York
DOUG COLLINS, Georgia LOIS FRANKEL, Florida
MARK MEADOWS, North Carolina TULSI GABBARD, Hawaii
TED S. YOHO, Florida JOAQUIN CASTRO, Texas
LUKE MESSER, Indiana
Amy Porter, Chief of Staff Thomas Sheehy, Staff Director
Jason Steinbaum, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio, Chairman
DANA ROHRABACHER, California ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
MATT SALMON, Arizona Samoa
MO BROOKS, Alabama AMI BERA, California
GEORGE HOLDING, North Carolina TULSI GABBARD, Hawaii
SCOTT PERRY, Pennsylvania BRAD SHERMAN, California
DOUG COLLINS, Georgia GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia
LUKE MESSER, Indiana WILLIAM KEATING, Massachusetts
C O N T E N T S
The Honorable Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary, Bureau for
South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State...... 14
Mr. Joseph Y. Yun, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau East Asian
and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.................. 24
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Steve Chabot, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Ohio, and chairman, Subcommittee on Asia and the
Pacific: Prepared statement.................................... 4
The Honorable Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, a Representative in Congress
from American Samoa: Prepared statement........................ 9
The Honorable Robert O. Blake: Prepared statement................ 16
Mr. Joseph Y. Yun: Prepared statement............................ 26
Hearing notice................................................... 46
Hearing minutes.................................................. 47
THE REBALANCE TO ASIA:
WHY SOUTH ASIA MATTERS (PART I)
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2 o'clock
p.m., in room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Steve
Chabot (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. Chabot. Good afternoon. I would like to welcome
everybody to our first meeting of the Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. I want to welcome all of
my colleagues, as I say, to the very first hearing this
I want to acknowledge my friend from American Samoa, the
distinguished ranking member, Mr. Faleomavaega. Eni, it has
been a pleasure working with you over the years, and I welcome
the opportunity now to sit side by side with you on this
committee. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.
Eni and I actually were the representatives from the House of
Representatives to the U.N. for a year right after 2001, the
attack on our Nation, for about a year or so. It was an
interesting time, and we have been friends for a long time now.
Even though we are different parties, we actually do get along
in this institution.
It is a very critical time for Asia, and I know we will
have plenty of work ahead of us over the next couple of years.
I would also like to welcome all of our new freshmen members,
which is actually a majority of the members of this committee,
so we welcome all of them to the Congress. We are looking
forward to working with each and every one of them and hope
that they will enjoy serving on this subcommittee, both
Democrats and Republicans.
I would also like to welcome our distinguished witnesses:
Assistant Secretary Robert Blake and Acting Assistant Secretary
Before we begin, the ranking member and I will make opening
statements. Other members will be given 1 minute to make a
statement if they should choose to do so, and then we will get
to the witnesses.
Last Congress, I was honored to serve as chairman of the
Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, which was a
truly rewarding experience--it was a time of both great
opportunities and tragedy.
As the new chair of the Subcommittee on Asia and the
Pacific, I am happy to announce that South Asia is once again
under the jurisdiction of this committee, the Asia and Pacific
Subcommittee. Historically and culturally, I think combining
the two makes sense. They share transnational threats from
terrorism and natural disasters to nuclear proliferation and
human rights abuses.
In November 2011, the Obama administration detailed its
plan to strengthen American engagement and leadership in the
Asia-Pacific region in order to improve regional security,
promote U.S. values, and increase economic prosperity. This
strategic rebalance toward Asia is also viewed by many as an
attempt by the United States to address the growing political
and military influences of China.
Examining the administration's efforts to create a more
integrated approach to the region over the past 2 years, much
of the focus has been on East Asia and Southeast Asia. We see
this through the improved military relations with Philippines,
South Korea, and Japan; the opening of a Marine base in Darwin,
Australia; and the positioning of littoral combat ships in
Singapore. We also witnessed this in Burma following the
opening of its borders to the world and its pursuit of
democratic reforms in which the United States has played a key
role; and also in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership
Agreement negotiations that aim to create a high standard free
trade agreement linking the Asia-Pacific region.
While there have been successes, it seems many of the
priorities and goals described in the ``pivot'' are more
ambitious rhetoric than detailed plans describing how to
achieve long-term sustainable results. And one area that we see
a disparity in is a subregion that has been largely neglected
from the rebalance strategy that is South Asia.
Straddling the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and
Java and South China Seas, South Asia bridges a world fraught
with uprisings and civil strife to one that will drive global
politics and the world's economy. It consists of the world's
largest democracy, second most populous nation, one of the
poorest countries, and one of the youngest overall
demographics. As the center of the Indian Ocean Rim-land that
extends from the Middle East to India and south to Indonesia,
South Asia is a subregion in need of strategic stability.
The scene of a power struggle for energy and security, the
Indian Ocean maritime region holds the world's most important
shipping and trade routes, accounting for 70 percent of
petroleum product shipments and half of the world's container
traffic. It is in the recognition of this region's importance
that the rivalry between China and India is interlocked with a
rivalry between the United States and China.
The rise of China, India, and other Asian nations, and the
rapid growth and seaborne trade and dependence upon imported
energy from the Indian Ocean through the Straits of Malacca,
has resulted in the unification of the Indian Ocean maritime
region to the Pacific as one geostrategic space, in what some
refer to as the ``Indo-Pacific'' region.
Secretary Clinton used ``Indo-Pacific'' for the first time
in November of last year to describe the integration of South
Asia as part of the United States' broader strategic rebalance
to Asia. I welcome this as a sign that India and the broader
region will play a more critical role going forward. I do not
believe the ``pivot'' will succeed unless the U.S. does more to
build stronger relationships in South Asia and with India, in
India's cultural influence, pluralistic society, democratic
government, and growing military power place India in the
position to take advantage of future economic growth in East
and Southeast Asia, while also contributing to regional
security and achieving national security interests that both
India and the U.S. share.
While we have seen progress in certain areas of the U.S.-
India relationship, many arenas are at a state of frustrating
impasse. This is partly due to the divergence of various
objectives in the region, historical distrust, and India's
determination to maintain strategic autonomy. These concerns
raise many questions about how to move forward; however, these
obstacles should not impede efforts to place the U.S.-India
relationship as a key feature of the broader U.S. strategy in
The administration stated in December 2012 that its
``strategic rebalancing to Asia will continue with renewed
vigor,'' and that ``U.S. engagement in South Asia would be
central to the reinvigorated outreach.'' I hope the witnesses
here today will elaborate on this statement and discuss how the
administration is planning to continue the rebalance with a
stronger focus on South Asia, not forgetting U.S. engagement
with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, and Pakistan,
and further elaborate on specific actions or commitments it
plans to take in this effort to achieve more tangible results.
I now yield to the gentleman from American Samoa, Mr.
Faleomavaega, for a 5-minute opening statement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Chabot follows:]
Mr. Faleomavaega. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I certainly
want to say for the record how pleased I am and what an honor
it is for me personally to have you as the chairman of this
And I also want to welcome our colleagues in the
subcommittee as we will be discussing and I am sure dialoguing
some very important issues affecting this region of the world.
I also want to offer my personal welcome to the two
gentlemen who will be testifying before our subcommittee. In
all the years that I have been here, Mr. Chairman, this is the
first time in history that we have had now two Assistant
Secretaries testifying before this committee. So I am really,
really blessed and very, very happy to see Secretary Blake and
also Secretary Yun here with us this morning.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this hearing. I cannot think of
a better subject or issue that we should be discussing. As I
have said for many years--in the years that I have served on
this committee--my personal opinion, nobody wanted to talk
about Asia-Pacific issues because the entire mentality here in
Washington, both in the Congress and previous administrations,
leaned toward Europe and the Middle East. If we weren't bashing
the Chinese, we were bashing the Japanese, nothing passive in
terms of our looking at the Asia-Pacific region as an important
and integral part of what should be our relationship with this
Today we are playing catchup in a region that accounts for
more than 60 percent of the world's population. In 2011, the
Asia-Pacific region surpassed Europe to become the top exporter
of merchandise. Two years ago, or 2010--I am sorry--the world's
top container ports were in the Asia-Pacific region, including
the top five container ports in the world are in the Asia-
I remember a couple of years ago, the late Senator Daniel
Inouye made an observation that for every 747 that flies across
the Atlantic, four 747s fly in between the Pacific and the
United States. The U.S. has a vital interest in making sure
there is a free flow of global trade and commerce through the
sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. The Strait of Malacca is one of
the most important shipping lanes in the world. Thousands of
vessels pass through the strait per year, carrying about one-
quarter of the world's traded goods, including oil, about a
quarter of the oil carried by sea passage through the strait.
I might also comment, Mr. Chairman, that another very
important strait that is connected through the Indian Ocean is
the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We need to
remember that as well.
For the first time since 1979, Iran naval forces just
crossed the Strait of Malacca and will dock in China, India, or
Regarding Sri Lanka, Mr. Chairman, I agree with the Gary
Luger congressional report, which declares we need to rechart
U.S. strategy in Sri Lanka beyond humanitarian and political
reforms. The U.S. simply cannot afford to lose Sri Lanka due to
its strategic importance.
Last week I had the privilege of visiting Sri Lanka. I met
with President Rajapaksa for more than 2 hours. I also met with
governor of the northern province and personally visited Jaffna
because I wanted to see for myself the post-conflict
development since 2009, when Sri Lanka finally became the first
country in the world to eradicate terrorism on its own soil by
defeating the Tamil Tigers, which remains listed as a terrorist
organization by 32 countries, including our own country, Mr.
Chairman, India, Canada, and members of the European Union, and
dubbed by the FBI as one of the most ruthless terrorist
organizations in the world.
After a 30-year terrorist conflict or war, the challenges
the Sri Lankan Government faces are enormous, but the strides
the government has made to rebuild in a way that establishes
lasting peace and equality for all citizens should be firmly
acknowledged. The United States should join Australia in
praising the work the Sri Lankan Government has done in the
north and east of the island in such a short period since the
war, as Australian deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop and
the parliamentary delegation she led recently stated on their
Regrettably, in the resolution it intends to submit again
to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the U.S. fails to
mention one, not even one, positive development for Sri Lanka.
Such failure suggests that the United States is not being
evenhanded when it comes to dealing with sensitive human rights
issues across the globe.
And I am, Mr. Chairman, deeply concerned that our
inconsistent policies, which lead to a loss of credibility for
the United States, which will negatively impact our relations
in the Asia-Pacific region for years to come.
So I call upon my Government, the United States of America,
to find a better way forward, rather than using the United
Nations resolutions to destabilize developing nations and Sri
Lanka while ignoring human rights abuses in nations like in
Asia, where our geopolitical, strategic, and military interests
supersede our human rights agenda.
The U.S.-led United Nations resolution should also be
withdrawn for focusing only on the last few months of the war
and failing to acknowledge, therefore, almost 30 years, Mr.
Chairman, the Tamil Tigers hacked to death innocent women, men,
women, and children, in Sri Lanka; carried out some 378 suicide
attacks, more than any other terrorist organization in the
We also do not need to criticize Sri Lanka for borrowing
money from China. And, by the way, I was there, Mr. Chairman.
In terms of our ability to provide assistance to these Third
World countries, China was able to provide Sri Lanka with $500
million of low-interest loans for them to rebuild their seaport
as well as the brand new international airport that I was there
I also want to suggest that it is time for our Government
to begin a dialogue with the Chief Minister Modi, the Chief
Minister Modi, who may well be the next prime minister for
India. The U.S.-India relationship is significant, as you have
commented in your statement, Mr. Chairman. It is one of the
defining partnerships of the 21st century. And Chief Minister
Modi is a leading figure in that process.
Chief Minister Modi's philosophy of bringing development to
the doorstep of every poor person, every farmer, every worker
is a philosophy that transcends caste, culture, regional, and
religious differences, and has led to a decade of unprecedented
growth and development in the province of the State of Gujarat,
a key state, which has contributed considerably to India's
economy and development. Companies like Ford and General Motors
are setting up factories in Gujarat and in a move that promises
to strengthen U.S.-India relations now and in the years to
I note my time is up, Mr. Chairman. I will leave the rest
for another opportunity, but I do want to thank you and thank
my colleagues for their attendance at this hearing. Thank you,
[The prepared statement of Mr. Faleomavaega
follows:]Faleomavaega statement deg.
Mr. Chabot. I thank the gentleman.
The Chair will recognize back and forth, as all the
committees do. We go by seniority, although we do go by who was
here when the meeting actually began at that point and then
seniority from there. That is the list I have, so that is the
reason I will be calling in the order that I am at this point.
We will now hear from anyone who has a 1-minute opening
statement. We will first go to Representative Holding from
Mr. Holding. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this
hearing today. And thank you to the witnesses for your time and
your testimonies that we are going to hear.
You know there has been a lot of rhetoric put forward from
this administration about a so-called pivot toward Asia and the
Pacific, but, Mr. Chairman, I would submit that that rhetoric
has largely remained just that: Rhetoric. The United States has
always maintained an interest in the Asian and Indo-Pacific
regions. This includes economic interests in established and
emerging markets but one that also includes strategic defense,
national security interests, one that has once again been
reinforced by recent actions in North Korea. Any move toward
the Asia-Pacific region must ensure both interests are given
close and careful consideration.
I look forward to getting the answers to numerous questions
that remain from this administration regarding the pivot and
especially those policies impacting Southeast Asia. So thank
you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Bera, is recognized for
1 minute for an opening statement.
Mr. Bera. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and ranking member, for
calling this hearing. Thank you to the witnesses.
America's pivot to Asia is critical at this juncture and is
a much needed evolution of our foreign policy, particularly out
shift to South Asia as we look at building a critical strategy
around our relationship with India.
The U.S.-Indian relationship is critical and vital to us,
both economically and strategically. And we find ourselves at a
moment in time when we are going to be drawing down our troops
in Afghanistan. India has a critical role in holding onto and
maintaining some of the gains that we have made. India has a
critical role in helping anchor stability in that region.
Economically, you know, trade with India is vital. From my
home state, California, we export over $3.7 billion annually.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. If we can strengthen
our trading relationship and open up India's export markets,
this will be very strategic in a bilateral way to both
I look forward to hearing both of the witnesses talk about
this strategic relationship. Thank you.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much.
The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Perry, is recognized.
Mr. Perry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and ranking member.
Thank you, gentlemen, for agreeing to testify and, of course,
all of the guests as well. I am privileged to be here.
And I, too, agree with the administration's pivot on policy
to this region, but it cannot be one of rhetoric only. It has
to be one of action and robust action. We must, I think,
provide confidence to our allies and friends in the region
while recognizing the interests of China, but we need to also
urge them to be responsible partners with all of their
neighbors regarding trade, human rights, and military activity.
And I look forward to your testimony in that regard.
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman from California is recognized.
Mr. Sherman. It is important to support the pivot to the
Asia-Pacific region as to our diplomatic resources, but if it
includes a pivot involving our military resources, we should
reflect on the fact that we already have nearly 100,000 ground
troops in the region, that confronting China over the islands
it disputes with Japan could involve resources involving many
tens of billions of dollars and that Japan itself has not
devoted all that much in the way of economic resources to the
defense of these islands.
The United States' relationship with India is based on a
shared commitment to democracy. Both nations have suffered from
terrorism. And the U.S.-India relationship I think will be
pivotal, both economically and strategically.
This committee strongly supported, sent to the floor, and
passed through the House a bill that included a provision
calling for Voice of America broadcasts in the Sindi language.
And I hope that we will reach out to the people of Pakistan in
the languages they speak, not just the languages spoken by the
government officially. And I look forward to hearing the
Mr. Chabot. Thank you.
The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Messer, is recognized.
Mr. Messer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ranking member. Thank
you to the witnesses. I appreciate this opportunity to be here
to learn more about the Indo-Pacific region. Obviously it has
very important implications for our national security but also
the American economy.
I represent 19 small towns in eastern and southeastern
Indiana, many of them with an agricultural or manufacturing-
based economy. The countries in this region have companies
doing business over in my area of the world. It is important we
maintain those relationships as well.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you.
The gentlelady from Hawaii, Ms. Gabbard, is recognized for
Ms. Gabbard. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Ranking
Member Faleomavaega for convening this important hearing.
And please do hear the resolve from my colleagues talking
about robust action, not rhetoric, as we look toward this
pivot, toward Asia and the Pacific. Coming from Hawaii, these
exchanges and partnerships and friendships between countries
across the Pacific and Asia, South Asia in particular, are
really a way of life for us in Hawaii, both economically and
culturally, and understand how this is vital, strategic, and
really related to security now for our country and that we have
to remain committed to engaging these nations.
I have personally involved with engagements, including with
the National Guard; been witness to many of the military
exchanges and the economic and educational and cultural
exchanges that have done volumes for us as a country; and look
forward to being able to continue that work and hearing from
our witnesses today.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much.
I would now like to introduce our distinguished panel here
this afternoon. We will begin with Ambassador Robert Blake, who
is the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the
U.S. State Department. As Assistant Secretary, he oversees U.S.
foreign policy with India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the
Maldives, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. He previously served as
Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2006 to mid-2009, and
deputy of chief of mission at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi,
India from 2003 to 2006. Since entering the Foreign Service in
1985, he has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia,
Algeria, Nigeria, and Egypt. We welcome you here this
I would now like to introduce Mr. Joseph Yun, who is
currently Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the
Pacific, also at the State Department. He was previously
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East
Asian and Pacific Affairs under Assistant Secretary Kurt
Campbell before he left just a couple of weeks ago. Since
entering the Foreign Service in 1985, Mr. Yun has served at
American Embassies in the Republic of Korea, Thailand, France,
Indonesia, and Hong Kong.
Without objection, all of the witnesses' prepared
statements will be made a part of the record. We would ask that
each of the witnesses keep their presentations as close to 5
minutes as possible. We also have a lighting system. You will
get a yellow light when you have 1 minute. When the red light
comes on, we would appreciate if you would wrap up.
So we will begin with you, Ambassador Blake.
Mr. Blake. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And
thanks as well to the ranking member and to all of the members
of this committee for inviting me here today.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT O. BLAKE, ASSISTANT
SECRETARY, BUREAU FOR SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIAN AFFAIRS, U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Blake. Let me say at the outset that it has been a
privilege and a pleasure to work with you, Mr. Chairman and Mr.
Ranking Member, over the last several years. I look forward to
continuing that very close cooperation.
Before I begin, I want to just congratulate the committee
on the reorganization of the subcommittee to include South Asia
together with the East Asia and Pacific region. Many of the
policies that we have been promoting in the region over the
past few years reinforce the subcommittee's new organizational
structure. So we see this as a positive development that will
help us to address the challenges and the opportunities
presented by this dynamic part of the world.
One quick note. The South Asia region that I cover consists
of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the
Maldives. So while Afghanistan and Pakistan, of course, play a
large role in South Asia, my remarks here today will focus
mostly on India, the Asia-Pacific, and the greater connectivity
between the two. This is also reflected in the more
comprehensive written statement that I have submitted for the
Mr. Chairman, to fully understand why South Asia matters,
we need to first look at the Asia-Pacific as a single
geographically coherent space, one that not only ends on our
own shores but also expands westward to encompass the Indian
subcontinent. Much of the history of the 21st century will be
written in this broader Asia-Pacific region, projected to
become home to over 5.2 billion people by 2050. That history
will have a profound impact on the people and the economy of
the United States.
Any discussion of South Asia has to start with India. It is
one of our most trusted and valuable partners in the region
and, really, the foundation upon which greater regional
economic cooperation and expansion will be built.
Our relationship, from our burgeoning trade to defense
sales and exercises to our growing education and clean energy
partnerships, has never been stronger. Just think about how far
India has come in the past 20 years, with a GDP 10 times what
it was in 1993. What was then a closed economy is now the 13th
largest trading partner of the United States in goods. And by
2025, India is projected to become the world's third largest
economy. With that growth will come enormous resource
constraints, particularly in infrastructure. Current estimates
suggest that 80 percent of the infrastructure required to
sustain and support India in 2025 has yet to be built. So we
see an enormous opportunity in this growth to deepen our
commercial partnership with India, working together with
American companies to build the airports, power plants, water
and sanitation systems, and fiber optic networks of India's
Although the U.S.-India relationship is a topic that could
easily take up our entire afternoon, I would like to quickly
shift our focus to India's immediate neighborhood, a region
where prospects for economic growth loom larger than anywhere
on Earth. Thanks in part to Burma's recent political and
economic reforms, we now see unprecedented opportunities for
trade and engagement between South and East Asia.
Nowhere are those opportunities more pronounced than along
the emergent air, road, and sea links between India,
Bangladesh, Burma, and the rapidly expanding economies of the
Association of South East Asian Nations. In the past year
alone, trade between India and the countries of Southeast Asia
has increased by 37 percent. This emerging Indo-Pacific
economic corridor isn't just a boon for the region. It provides
American businesses with substantial new markets.
Mr. Chairman, just a few words in closing. We are bullish
on the future of this region, but we are also clear-eyed about
the challenges that we face: Terrorism, such as we saw last
week in Hyderabad; regional rivalries; nuclear proliferation;
refugees; human trafficking; and the potentially catastrophic
effects of global climate change. But the architecture of
cooperation we are building together with the countries of the
region is helping meet these challenges. And we continue to
view South and Southeast Asia, including the Indian Ocean, as a
crucial driver for America's economic growth and prosperity. We
must continue building the regional and bilateral partnerships
at the heart of a more stable, prosperous, and democratic Asia-
Pacific so that our own country can continue to grow and
prosper in the 21st century.
So I thank you again, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to
taking your questions.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Blake follows:]
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much for your testimony, Mr.
Ambassador. We appreciate it.
And now we will move to Mr. Yun. You are recognized for 5
Mr. Yun. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Mr.
Faleomavaega and members of the subcommittee. Thank you very
much for inviting me here today to testify why South Asia
matters in our engagement with East Asia and Pacific region.
STATEMENT OF MR. JOSEPH Y. YUN, ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY,
BUREAU EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Yun. Mr. Chairman, as you have pointed out, it is
increasingly important that the U.S. views the Indian Ocean
region and East Asia and the Pacific region in a coherent and
integrated manner. The current organization of this
subcommittee to include both South Asia and East Asia is an
important recognition of this strategic imperative. I believe
that this new vision will help the United States better address
the key challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific
As a Pacific power, the U.S. is bound to Asia through
geography, history, alliances, and economic ties. Growing
numbers of American companies are investing in and exporting to
rapidly expanding Asian markets. Asian-Pacific businesses are
increasing their profiles in the U.S. and providing jobs for
American workers. Record numbers of American citizens now live,
work, and study in this part of the world. These connections
underscore our significant stake in the region's stability and
Our department's multifaceted approach to the Asia-Pacific
region reflects this reality. We have sought to amplify our
political and security ties as well as our economic engagement.
We are strengthening and modernizing our longstanding alliances
with Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand, the
Philippines, which have for decades been the foundation for the
region's stability. And, given the importance, strategic
importance, and collective significance of Southeast Asia and
the Pacific, we have also increased our engagement with
Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand,
and the Pacific Islands. Our efforts with China, which include
an unprecedented number of high-level and people-to-people
interactions, aim to build a stable relationship grounded in
reality but also true to our principles and interests.
On the economic side, we have elevated our engagement in
the region through multiple avenues, from hosting APEC in 2011
to last July's commitment to connectivity, which brought
together the largest grouping of U.S. and ASEAN Government and
business leaders ever.
We are working on comprehensive and high-standard trade
agreements in the region. In fact, just the Trans-Pacific
Partnership to level the playing field for American companies
and advance a rule space trading system. At the East Asia
Summit last November, the President announced a new initiative
called the U.S.-Asia-Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership,
which cuts across ASEAN, APEC, and other Asian regional forums
to promote the development of new and sustainable energy
markets in the region. At the same summit, the President also
announced a trade and investment engagement program with the 10
ASEAN countries, known as the Enhanced Economic Engagement,
which is dealing with trade facilitation, investment rules, and
digital economy issues.
Across the region, the United States is seeking sustained
adherence to democratic practices and improved governance. We
press for improvements with those governments that fall short
in human rights and support those struggling to promote the
values we share. Our commitment to advancing freedom,
democracy, and the rule of law has manifest itself in our
steadfast support for reform and opening in Burma, where
positive developments on a range of political and humanitarian
concerns of the international community have allowed us to open
a new chapter in bilateral relations.
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to report that the message from
the region to U.S. has been clear. Asians are saying that the
role of the U.S. in Asia is critical and that they want to see
us even more engaged in diplomacy, security, trade and
investment, and more programs linking Asians and Americans,
such as education, cultural exchange, sports, tourism, just to
mention a few.
So why do South Asia and Indian Ocean regions matter to
what the U.S. does in Northeast or Southeast Asia? The answer,
we believe, lies in the fact that the Indian and Pacific Oceans
now form a continuous throughway for global commerce and
energy. China, Japan, South Korea, and others in the region
depend upon the secure access of energy and raw material from
the Middle East and Africa. As these trends continue, any
significant disruptions of trade in Indian and Pacific Oceans
will have serious global repercussions that would also be felt
here at home by American workers.
So as economic and strategic interests continue to span the
breadth of the Indo-Pacific, we have an important state in
ensuring freedom of navigation, promoting respect for
international law, and fostering greater cooperation and
dialogue among the countries of both regions on maritime
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today,
Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to answer any questions you may
[The prepared statement of Mr. Yun follows:]
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much. We appreciate the
testimony of both of our witnesses here this afternoon.
I will now recognize each member for 5 minutes to ask
questions. I will begin with myself.
First question I will address to you, Ambassador Blake. The
2008 Indo-U.S. Civilian Nuclear Agreement was considered a
watershed moment for U.S.-India relations, but 4 years later,
many believe that it has failed to tie India closer to the
U.S.-led global nonproliferation and arms control architecture.
India has made no efforts to sign the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty or to voluntarily halt its production of fissile
materials. The deal was also supposed to build a robust
security relationship between the U.S. and India serving as the
nucleus to balance Chinese power. However, India's Non-
Alignment 1.0 and now Non-Alignment 2.0 have made this goal a
At the same time, in pursuit of a greater global presence,
India seeks to join the five permanent members of the U.N.
Security Council and the four major arms control groups,
including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar
Arrangement, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology
Control Regime. Ambassador Blake, what is the outlook for
India's participation in these groups?
And, with reference to the Indo Civilian Nuclear Agreement,
have the U.S. and India made any progress on resolving the
nuclear liability issue, which has created an obstacle for a
number of U.S. firms? What is the administration doing in order
to move this issue forward?
Mr. Blake. Thank you very much for that question, Mr.
Let me just talk a little bit about the nuclear deal first.
As you say, this is one of the really transformative deals that
was done in the course of the Bush administration. The Obama
administration came in, determined to try to continue that
momentum. I think there has been some progress, but there are
also still many challenges ahead.
One challenge is that India passed a nuclear liability law
that our companies do not agree with and do not think provide
them sufficient protection from possible liability suits. And,
therefore, we have focused most of our efforts on trying to
negotiate with the unions and support our companies' efforts to
negotiate what are called early works agreements that are
things like site preparation and early contracts and things
like that that could again pave the way for future civil
The Indians have set aside several areas in Gujarat and
Andhra Pradesh for American companies to eventually build such
plants. And we continue to work through our liability concerns
with the Indian Government. So we hope very much this year that
one of these early works agreements can be signed by
Westinghouse and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India
Limited, which is its counterpart. So I think there has been
progress, but, again, much work needs to be done.
With respect to your comment about how India is not
aligned, actually, I would, respectfully, disagree. India has
moved very, very much closer to us now on defense cooperation.
We now have the largest exercise program of any country in the
world with India. And I think all three of their services very
much appreciate the opportunity to exercise with ours. And
there is a growing coordination in that respect.
Likewise, our defense sales relationship has grown from
virtually nothing to more than 9 billion with several billion
more of sales pending now. So, again, I think our militaries
are growing much closer together. And there is great interest
in developing closer interoperability and closing working
relationships. And we will certainly continue to build on
Mr. Chabot. Thank you.
And in a limited time--I have about a minute left here--let
me just touch on Sri Lanka. I know my ranking member had
brought up Sri Lanka, which can be a quite controversial issue.
There are two sides to a lot of the things that are said about
this. I have had many contacts with the government and also
with the Tamils. And, shall we say, they differ in a number of
I would say the attempts at reconciliation between the
government and the Tamil people have been disappointing in many
respects. Sri Lankan leaders, for example, are talking about
repealing the Thirteenth Amendment, which guarantees certain
basic rights to provincial councils. And U.S. policy toward Sri
Lanka has, so far, apparently not worked out or been able to
convince the government to keep its basic agreements to bring
reconciliation and political settlement to fruition.
What steps has and can the administration make to urge the
government to move toward a more genuine reconciliation with
the Tamil community? And either one, but if you could keep it
relatively short because our time is now up?
Mr. Blake. Let me try to answer your question and also the
ranking member's question simultaneously because he talked
about that in his statement. And let me just say with a little
bit of background that, you know, obviously I have been working
on Sri Lanka now for 6 years. I know the country extremely
well. I consider myself a friend of the country and supporter
of the country. And at the end of the conflict, as you know,
there were many questions about the number of civilians that
were killed at the very end of the conflict. And independent
U.N. panel estimated that between 10,000 and 40,000 innocent
civilians may have been killed.
Nonetheless, the United States decided that it would
support a domestic that was a Sri Lankan domestic process to
try to get to the bottom of that and to investigate that and to
develop what has now been called a lessons learned and
reconciliation commission process. But we did so with the
understanding, Mr. Chairman, that there would be rapid progress
toward reconciliation and accountability.
And I must say progress thus far on implementing the LLRC
action plan has been slow. And we have been disappointed, as
you say, that the government has not proceed so far with
elections for the Northern Provincial Council 4 years after the
end of the war. We have been disappointed that there hasn't
been a conclusion of the dialogue between the Tamil National
Alliance, the umbrella group for the Tamil groups, as well as
to permit a T&A of dialogue with the government on devolution.
And we have been disappointed that there has been some backward
movement on democracy, as you say, things like the Thirteenth
Amendment but also recent impeachment of the Sri Lanka's chief
So, for that reason, last year we supported a resolution in
the U.N. Human Rights Council to put additional pressure on Sri
Lanka to implement its own lessons learned and reconciliation
report. We did so with the support of countries like India that
voted yes and a large majority of other countries in the Human
I think there is good support thus far to have another vote
this year to continue to urge Sri Lanka to implement its own
report. And that is why we are pursuing that again this year.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much. My time has expired.
The gentleman from American Samoa is recognized.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do want to say to Secretary Blake that this is not in any
way a personal attack on you, but I do want to follow up on the
chairman's question and concerns about the situation in Sri
I mentioned in my statement about the double standard that
we are applying as far as violation of human rights. And the
sense that I have, why is the most powerful country in the
world picking on a small, little country like Sri Lanka, the
size of West Virginia, 60,000 square miles with only 3 million
people? We talk about 41 million people living there.
The question, the serious question, I have is that for 27-
29 years, this country was in a state of civil war. It is not a
conflict. It is not a question of a time when people are asking
for more autonomy. We have to understand that not all Tamils
are members of this terrorist organization called the LTTE, or
Tamil Tigers that our Government along with 32 other countries
had also categorized as a terrorist organization. And in the
process you are talking about 27 years where some 80,000 to
100,000 Sri Lankans ended up dead--a lot of innocent men,
women, and children, what I am trying to seek here is that
there also was a country that had a civil war--the United
States of America after 4 years, we ended up with 600,000 of
our soldiers dying from that terrible conflict.
And it wasn't a question of the Southern states asking for
autonomy. They wanted to secede, to pull away from their mother
country, just like the Tamil Tigers wanted to do in their
efforts in seeking this war against the Tamil government.
My concern here is that we are looking at such a small,
little sequence that was 2 or 3 months that now we are
questioning and the reason why we have this resolution before
the United Nations Human Rights Council but forgetting the fact
that for 29 years, the Sri Lanka Government has had to deal
with this terrorist organization. And I just could not believe
the atrocities that were committed by these people. And now
over night, we just say, ``Oh, we have got to get this
resolution in here.'' So this is where my concern is that this
is a double standard.
Our Government for the 10-year period we were in war in
Vietnam, Mr. Secretary. Let's talk about the tens of thousands
of women and children, innocent civilians that were exposed to
Agent Orange when we were there for the 10-year period. Let's
ask the people in Laos and Cambodia about the 6 million pounds
of cluster bombs that we dropped there. These countries never
declared war on us.
Where is the consistency in our standards as far as human
rights are concerned? We are pointing the finger at this little
country, Sri Lanka. I think that perhaps we need to clean up
our own backyard and suggest that maybe we would be a little
more consistent. If we are going to do it against Sri Lanka,
let's make sure that we are clean ourselves.
I just wanted you to comment on that. I have got only 1
minute left on this.
Mr. Blake. Well, thank you, Mr. Ranking Member.
Let me just say with respect to the LTTE, we fully agree.
The United States was one of the very first countries to
declare the LTTE a foreign terrorist organization. And we have
a long line of public statements and other condemnations that
we issued for the terrible acts of terrorism that they were
We also took concrete action to help the Sri Lankans. We
gave them radar systems so that they would be able to detect
Mr. Faleomavaega. That may help the Sri Lankan Government
fight against the Navy that----
Mr. Blake. Exactly.
Mr. Faleomavaega [continuing]. The Tamil Tigers have.
Mr. Blake. But, you know, we certainly took a very
uncompromising view with respect to the LTTE. But, again, at
the very end of the war, the question is, what happened to
those 10,000 to 40,000 civilians who were killed? And I think
everybody in Sri Lanka believes that there needs to be closure
on that question and closure needs to be achieved through this
lessons learned and reconciliation commission process. It is a
domestic process. So it should have the support of the
government. And we hope that that will continue. And that is
the purpose of this resolution.
But there needs to be justice, Mr. Chairman, for there to
be closure. And there needs to be reconciliation between these
communities. So that is what we are trying to achieve.
Mr. Faleomavaega. I only have 10 more seconds, Mr.
Secretary. I just wanted to say that that was part of the
subject, that I discussed this personally with the President of
Sri Lanka. And he is concerned. He is spending more time up
there in the northern province. And all the amount of resources
they are trying to do can make this as part of the
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you, Mr. Faleomavaega.
The gentleman from North Carolina was next but isn't here,
so I think the gentleman from Pennsylvania is next. Mr. Perry?
Mr. Perry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And either gentleman can answer the question. It is fairly
general. And I want to get away from Sri Lanka, if I could
[laughter] for just a comment, not taking anything away from
the effort and the gravity of the situation. But I am concerned
about the looming defense cuts in the United States and our
commitments to the broader region along with our continued
commitments to Europe and the Middle East and now Africa. And I
am wondering if you could enumerate what your view is of what
we will need from a military standpoint to continue to balance
or provide a balance in the region. And be fairly specific, if
you could, on what your view is, either one of you or both of
you, on what you think that our commitment should be and will
need to be moving forward in the long term.
Mr. Yun. Thank you very much.
As you know, in our region, in the East Asia and Pacific
region, there are now about 29,000 troops in Korea and South
Korea and about 40,000 in Japan. And, of course, beyond that,
really, the region of South China Sea as well as East China Sea
and the Pacific rely on full Pacific Command, especially the
Pacific Command Navy, to do everything that is needed to keep
the oceans open.
Mr. Chairman, this is a serious issue, that if there is any
shortfall in our budget, especially going to the military side,
I think it will affect the operations we do, freedom of
navigation exercises we do, and certainly a lot of bilateral
and multilateral exercises we do. These are very important to,
number one, project our forces in the region; and, number two,
to keep all of the sea lanes open.
And, just last week, we concluded a multi-nation exercise
in Thailand called Cobra Gold. And those are also very useful
for keeping the troops in the region, working with our troops
in the region.
So my own view is that it will have significant effect.
And, similarly, it will also have significant effect on the
diplomatic side, Mr. Chairman. We have Embassies that need to
be open. We have obligations to our local employees. Often it
is very difficult to follow them because they come under
national law, not U.S. law. So there are severe constraints on
both the security side and diplomatic side.
Mr. Blake. Sir, we don't have American troops stationed in
South Asia, but obviously we have a very expensive exercise
program. And the Pacific Command is involved with Nepal,
Bangladesh, many other countries in various aspects from
disaster management to counterterrorism cooperation.
We haven't yet learned how that, all of that, cooperation
is going to be affected by the potential sequestration. So I
would just support what my colleague said.
Mr. Perry. Well, if I could, Mr. Chairman, just follow up,
then, let's just say that the United States has to pull back a
certain level of operational capability, few exercises, a
diminished presence. Can you give us any thoughts to what
scenarios you think might play out if the United States or its
allies aren't present in that regard for keeping shipping lanes
and sea lanes open and providing a balance? Are there certain
actions that other actors would or would not take in the region
based on our lack of presence or diminished availability to be
Mr. Yun. I think we have seen about 2\1/2\ weeks ago now
there was a third nuclear test by North Koreans. And certainly
there is a lot of proliferation-related activities, goods going
from Northeast Asia through Strait of Malacca to Middle East,
Iran, and so on. So those things that we do in the region, it
is not just about when there is an emergency, but, rather, it
has to be daily type of activities.
And, similarly, I do believe that you have to do, for
example, regular freedom of navigation exercise because that is
what makes assert our interpretation of the law of the sea and
including what we can and what we should not do in EEC. And so
I think it is very important that there not be up and down, you
know, activity but, rather, we sustain the level of activity
that we are committed to sustaining.
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Perry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Bera, is recognized for
Mr. Bera. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ambassador Blake, Mr. Yun, both in all of this talk about
the great economic opportunity that exists between the United
States and India and the South Asia region, Ambassador Blake,
having spent as much time as you have there, can you comment on
what some of the perceived threats are to that relationship and
to the economic opportunities that exist?
Mr. Blake. Well, you know, I think the main threat is the
declining growth rate that has occurred in India because of
declining investment and because there has been a slowdown in
the economic reform efforts over the past several years. It is
no secret that the Indian Parliament has been tied up in knots
over debates about corruption and other such things. And so
very little has gotten done. To its credit, they did pass a
quite important reform to open up India to foreign direct
investment in the multi-brand retail sector, which we think is
very, very important. And they have taken some steps to try to
accelerate the approval process for a foreign investment, but
much more needs to be done. I think the Indians fully recognize
And certainly our companies through the U.S.-India Business
Council have given them a very rich menu of suggestions of
things that could be done to open up in the areas of banking,
in the areas of retail, in the areas of things like defense,
all of which would--insurance is another one--tremendously
increase the levels of foreign direct investment and help boost
the levels of growth in India.
Mr. Bera. And obviously opening up India's markets is
beneficial both to our economy and our companies----
Mr. Blake. Yes.
Mr. Bera [continuing]. And certainly helps India become a
much more modern economy. Are there strategic things that we
can do diplomatically to help speed along this process?
Mr. Blake. Very much so. We have a range of economic
dialogues that we conduct with our Indian counterparts. The
U.S. Trade Representative has something called the Trade Policy
Forum. So there are a number of different initiatives that are
underway that help again remove some of the blockages that do
But I should say that, even with some of these problems,
India remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world
at 5 percent. And it is projected to be the third largest
economy in the world by 2025. And our trade continues to grow
very substantially. It has quadrupled over the last 8 years,
and it is growing at roughly 20 percent a year. So, you know,
obviously we would like to do even more, but I think we are
very happy with the progress that has been made.
Mr. Bera. We certainly would. You know, shifting a little
bit, I know you commented that Afghanistan is not part of the
South Asia region, but obviously, as we draw down and bring our
troops home, you know, it will be critical to maintain some of
the gains and some of the stability.
Obviously the U.S.-India relationship is a very strategic
relationship here. From your perspective, what do you see as
India's role in helping maintain stability in Afghanistan and
the region entirely and then what we can do diplomatically in
the U.S.-India relationship?
Mr. Blake. Well, your question is a timely one,
Congressman. We have just finished our latest trilateral
dialogue with India and Afghanistan last week that I
represented the United States at in Delhi. And we appreciate
very much the significant role that India is playing in
Afghanistan. In fact, we see India as kind of the economic
linchpin for the future as our troops draw down, as their
spending draws down.
It is going to be much more important now to establish a
private sector basis for the Afghan economy and to make a
trade-based economy and not an aid-based economy. And India has
such an important role to play in that.
First, if has a very large investment program. It has
invested in things like the Hajigak iron ore deposit that is
going to be a major probably $8-$10 billion investment. It
hosted a major investment conference last year to promote
foreign investment into Afghanistan. It has its own very
substantial assistance program of approximately $2 billion. And
it very much has embraced this regional integration vision that
Secretary Clinton and now Secretary Kerry have endorsed to open
up all of these trade links to allow for, for example, the
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India gas pipeline and
other forms of infrastructure, road, rail, and other openings
that will link up this region in a very significant way. And
India is really at the heart of all of those efforts and is
such an important part or force.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. The gentleman's time has expired.
I would like to announce that we are supposed to have a
series of votes any minute now, but we have about 15 minutes.
We have three more questioners, so I think we can probably, as
a courtesy to the panel, wrap up and not have you come back. So
if we keep to our time, we should be able to do that.
The next gentleman is the chairman of the Western
Hemisphere Subcommittee, the gentleman from Arizona, Mr.
Mr. Salmon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Blake, Mr.
Yun, thank you for being here today.
I was privileged to be able to participate in a CODEL just
in the last few weeks over with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and
China and the Philippines. And a lot of issues that we talked
about, but the most pressing issue by far was the concern of
proliferation, the WMDs with North Korea. I am also concerned
about the potential with Pakistan. But the issue du jour seems
to be North Korea.
We had a hearing a couple of weeks ago with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations. And I expressed my frustration,
my feeling. And I think that is echoed by a lot of our
colleague that so far the activities by the United Nations to
try to dissuade North Korea from proliferating have been very
impotent at best. I think we all understand that China has a
disproportionate share of influence when it comes to motivating
North Korea to do the right thing.
But I would like to pose a different thought. My concern if
North Korea continues in its path toward proliferation is
that--how are we going to dissuade some of the other countries
in the region, like Japan, like South Korea, and like Taiwan
from pursuing their own nuclear programs? And then what will
happen if all hell breaks loose in terms of all of these
countries wanting to proliferate? What is going to happen to
economic stability in the region? What are we going to do since
what we are doing right now is clearly not working? What are we
going to do move the ball up the field and properly motivate
The chairman of the full committee has recommended that
maybe we take a look at financial institutions that provide
financial services for North Korea and maybe we take a look at
possibly freezing assets, as we have done in the past with Iran
and in the past with North Korea.
I would like your thoughts on any and all issues. I think
it is time that we think outside the box and we do everything
that we can otherwise I think it is going to destabilize pretty
Mr. Yun. Thank you very much.
This is, of course, I think the most serious problem that
we have in Northeast Asia today. Two weeks ago North Korea
announced that it had done its third nuclear test. The first
one was '06, '09 and now. And, of course, in that interim, they
have, believe, improved their capabilities.
And I think the first thing we have to do is make sure that
international community is unified in their response to North
Korea. And that has to be the burden of the U.N. Security
Council, At the moment, we are negotiating in U.N. Security
Council a resolution, which we believe should have Chapter 7
incorporated as well as additional sanctions incorporated.
Mr. Chairman, without having the international community
with us, any kind of sanctions become very difficult to
enforce. And I believe once we have very tough U.N.
multilateral sanctions, thereafter it is time to enforce our
For example, if U.N. agrees in Security Council to do
financial sanctions, as you have suggested, then we will
implement them. But I think to go ahead and do the unilateral
ones could be questionable in value if other countries don't
join us. So I think, number one, it is very important to have
Mr. Chairman, this has been a problem for a long time, not
just since 2006, but North Korean nuclear program has been
there probably since the late '60s. So I would say we need to
take a longer-term view, not rather to see it if they have done
this much in 40 years. I think to some extent, the deterrence
has worked. And, of course, in the '70s, there was a history of
South Korea wanting its own nuclear program, which we persuaded
not to have.
With regards to the position of South Korea; Japan, as you
mentioned; Taiwan, you know, of course, we have very strong
mutual defense treaties, both with South Korea and Japan. And
you are out there in the region, Mr. Salmon. And you realize
the value of them.
I think it is safe to say we are working very, very close
with our Japanese and South Korea and our colleagues to see
this in a very unified vision. But ultimately China, which
border has a long border with North Korea, a lot of burden is
on them. I think you are right in that, sir.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. The gentleman's time has expired.
We have about 9 or 10 minutes left on the clock. We have
three people now here that want to ask questions. I would ask
unanimous consent that we reduce it to 3 minutes. All three can
get in if that is okay? Without objection, so ordered.
The gentlelady from Hawaii is recognized for 3 minutes.
Ms. Gabbard. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I agree with and appreciate many of the concerns that have
already been brought up and, again, just recognize the
importance of these relationship-building opportunities and
partnerships. Mr. Yun, you mentioned Cobra Gold. I have also
been involved with Garuda Shield, Yama Sakura, and other types
of exercises that have--I have seen firsthand what benefits can
come from these types of exchanges in really being proactive so
that we are not getting to a point of where we are talking
about very real tactical threats.
As we are looking at budget cuts, which is another issue
that I know we are all thinking about very seriously, I just
wanted to hear from you about some of the other resources that
we have available to us to reach that same objective, one of
which we have based in Hawaii, the East-West Center, which has
been a very vital resource to us nationally having an alumni of
55,000 over 600 partner organizations, and would like to hear
briefly from both of you how you have utilized the East-West
Center as well as how you see the future relationship between
the State Department and the center continuing, especially as
we look at this rebalance toward Asia and the Pacific.
Mr. Yun. Thank you very much. I think East-West Center has
been crucial in building relationship and exchanges in Asia and
us. Hawaii, therefore, has become center of so many think tanks
and so many military and civilian diplomats as well as
politicians. I think it would be really a shame if we were to
reduce funding for East-West Center. And we would be very
supportive of sustaining it as much as possible.
Mr. Blake. I would strongly second that. We have a parade
of South Asians who go to the East-West Center. I myself have
addressed it several times. And it is one of our premier
institutions. And I am hoping to do everything we can to
preserve funding for it.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. The gentlelady yields back. Thank
you very much.
The gentleman from California is recognized for 3 minutes.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I will just get right into it. It is a travesty that the
United States has such an integrated economy and our economic
well-being is so tied to the world's worst human rights abuser,
namely China, and that we have not developed as much economic
relationship and as great an economic relationship as we have
with India. And it just seems to me that this is something we
have got to come to grips with. This is out of synch with the
long-term interests of the people of the United States because
in the long run, if we just ignore the totalitarian nature of
the Chinese regime, we are going to pay a price. And that is
already becoming very evident.
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for your leadership in
starting out this way for this new session of Congress. Let's
hope in this session of Congress we recognize that China is
playing an increasingly negative role that has got to be
addressed. And it will be addressed by our relationship with
other countries in Asia like India.
Today we see the Chinese supporting, for example, just what
they are doing with Pakistan, just what they are doing with
Pakistan. The Chinese are helping this state, the sponsor of
terrorism. They are trying to have a power grab for the rare
minerals, the oil, the gas, and other natural resources of
Central Asia. And we have got to come to grips with this. And I
would hope that those of you in the Executive Branch, that we
work together to reshape America's basic policy toward Asia so
that, instead of a tilt toward China with a blind eye toward
human rights and democracy, that, instead, we with both eyes
open focus on trying to get better relations with India and
those other countries who are struggling for democracy.
That is my statement. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much.
And because of time, I think the statement speaks for
itself. We will turn to the gentleman from Virginia for 3
minutes, Mr. Connolly.
Mr. Connolly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
In picking up on Mr. Rohrabacher's statement, Ambassador
Blake, I assume you would agree that there is something to
that. In terms of with the end of the Cold War and with the
rapprochement between the United States and India, there are
new opportunities for creating space among many relationships,
including the juxtaposition with China.
Mr. Blake. Mr. Connolly, nice to see you again.
Mr. Connolly. Likewise.
Mr. Blake. We have been very proud of the progress we have
made in our relations with India. And India itself has made
tremendous progress in its relations with China, particularly
on the economic front, where their trade is almost 70 billion
now and is their fastest growing treading partner. They still
have some tensions on border issues and things like that, but
both of us have been clear that the progress that we are making
in our respective relations with China is not coming at the
expense of the other. We are not seeking to contain China. We
are trying to engage China as much as possible. And certainly
in my 4 years working on this job, I have spent a lot of time
trying to get China to work more closely with us on our central
objectives in places like Afghanistan to get them to invest
more in the infrastructure there.
Mr. Connolly. And I would agree with everything you are
saying. I by no means was once suggesting containment or at the
expense of, but in terms of the richness of the fabric of South
Mr. Blake. Right.
Mr. Connolly [continuing]. The emerging relationship that
did not exist heretofore between the United States and India it
seems to me is definitely in our mutual best interest----
Mr. Blake. Right.
Mr. Connolly [continuing]. And especially in light of
unfolding facts and developments in the region.
Mr. Blake. Absolutely.
Mr. Connolly. One more question, if I may, for both of you.
In the so-called pivot to Asia or rebalancing in Asia, I have
seen some documents that talk about the purpose of all of this,
maybe renegotiating bases in the Philippines and elsewhere in
the region and so forth and plus existing treaty obligations is
to deter aggression. I am very worried about that expression
because presumably it means more than deterring pirates. And I
am worried about false expectations, that it raises
expectations in the region that the United States will extend
its defense umbrella. And that is a very difficult expectation
to meet. How are we managing those expectations in 30 seconds?
Mr. Yun. We are managing very well.
Mr. Connolly. Thank you very much.
Mr. Yun. No. Mr. Connolly, I think you are 100 percent
right. I think to emphasize deterring aggression at the expense
of others I think is misleading. I would say pivot to Asia is,
by and large, most about our economic presence. We need to be
there to take advantage of the increasing economic value that
is out there, investment trade.
We look at the opening up of Southeast Asia. American
companies have tremendous advantage in infrastructure. Look at
GE. Look at Boeing. Look at how we build airports. So I think
that has to be the number one emphasis, sir.
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman's time has expired.
I would like to thank the panel here this afternoon.
Members will have 5 days to submit additional questions or
extend their remarks. The panel did an excellent job here this
afternoon. We appreciate it.
If there is no further business to come before the
subcommittee, we are adjourned. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 3:15 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing RecordNotice deg.