China’s defense minister and a delegation of military officials will visit sensitive U.S. military facilities this week, raising fresh concerns that the Pentagon may not be fully abiding by a 2000 law restricting Chinese military visits.
Section 1201 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2000 prohibits military exchanges with China that would “create a national security risk due to an inappropriate exposure” of 12 areas.
They include force projection operations, nuclear operations, advanced combined-arms and joint combat operations, and advanced logistical operations.
Other areas include a ban on viewing chemical and biological defense and other capabilities related to weapons of mass destruction, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, joint war-fighting experiments, and other activities related to a transformation in warfare.
Additional proscribed activities for Chinese military visits include a ban on any facilities involved in military space operations, other advanced military capabilities, arms sales or military-related technology transfers, and anything involving the release of classified or restricted information. Pentagon laboratories are also out of bounds.
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President Barack Obama’s decision yesterday to reject a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline may prompt Canada to turn to China for oil exports.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.”
The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.
Currently, 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go to the U.S., a figure that Harper wants to reduce in his bid to make Canada a “superpower” in global energy markets.
Canada accounts for more than 90 percent of all proven reserves outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to data compiled in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Most of Canada’s crude is produced from oil-sands deposits in the landlocked province of Alberta, where output is expected to double over the next eight years, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.