BIDEN Releases Study on China's Rising Global Influence

Press Release

By:  Joe Biden, Jr.
Date: May 5, 2008
Location: Washington, DC


BIDEN Releases Study on China's Rising Global Influence

Announces Series of Hearings on U.S.-China Relations Beginning May 15th

BIDEN: "China's emergence as a global power has profound implications for the security and economic interests of the United States. I hope this report will help us shape a smarter foreign policy that allows us to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities created by China's enhanced integration with the international community"

Today, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) released a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study on the implications for U.S. economic and security interests of China's rising global influence. The study, which CRS produced at Senator Biden's request in consultation with a distinguished group of China specialists and other regional and functional analysts, examines the strengths and weaknesses of China's foreign policy and growing use "soft power" in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

"China's rising influence presents both challenges and opportunities for the United States," said Sen. Biden. "While China uses soft power to increase its economic and political leverage globally, severe limitations on its influence remain. This study provides us with a greater understanding of China's power, its motivations and its relationships with other nations: now we must work to develop coordinated policy based on its findings."

CRS found that China attempts to exploit areas in which it holds a comparative advantage to increase its influence, sometimes in a way that runs counter to U.S. interests. For example, China's willingness to provide ‘no strings attached' foreign aid often undermines international efforts to combat corruption, improve transparency, and foster respect for human rights. But the report also indicates that China must grapple with many limitations on its influence. CRS cites a study of UN voting records that found that nations with increased trade dependence on China do not appear more willing to vote with PRC interests. Moreover, CRS found that China's soft power achievements - such as disaster relief assistance worldwide - pale in comparison to those of the United States.

"China's emergence as a global power has profound implications for the security and economic interests of the United States. I hope this report will help us shape a smarter foreign policy that allows us to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities created by China's enhanced integration with the international community" added Sen. Biden.

Biden also announced a series of hearings the Committee plans to hold examining U.S.-China strategic relations and opportunities for advancing shared interests, beginning on Thursday, May 15th with testimony by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and a panel of outside experts. This is a continued effort by the Committee to evaluate ‘smart power' initiatives and the importance of an integrated approach to 21st century U.S. security challenges. Sen. Biden believes that in order for the United States to advance its interests in the era of globalization, it must increasingly utilize ‘smart power,' - the non-military tools of U.S. foreign and national security policies - to complement its ‘hard power,' or military force.