I would like to welcome everyone to today's hearing on the 2013 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. This hearing is part of a larger oversight effort focus on the Asia-Pacific rebalance led by Mr. Forbes and Ms. Hanabusa--who are providing strong bipartisan leadership on this important topic.
"We've met with U.S. Pacific Command officials and last week heard from key ambassadors representing allied and partner nations. However, we cannot consider the rebalance without examining China.
"The Commission has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of Chinese military capabilities, economic developments, and political and foreign policy objectives. Their annual report--which was released earlier this morning--is a superb resource for Congress and the public.
While we continue to warn about our military's readinesss, and the dangerous effects of budget cuts and sequestration, China's military spending continues to rise and its new leadership seeks to increase combat readiness. Its current pace of military modernization shows that Beijing is developing the ability to project power and influence further abroad. I look forward to hearing the Commission's assessment of the key military and foreign policy developments made by China in the past year and the implications for our own policies and posture in the region.
"China can play a constructive role in the region and the world, but for those of us focused on security issues, recent trends--in their anti-access and area denial capabilities, and cyber espionage campaigns, in particular--give us cause for concern.