- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has limited the Clinton administration program of military-to-military exchanges with China to three months and is reviewing its benefits before continuing beyond that, a Pentagon spokesman said yesterday.
"The secretary has approved the planned activities for the military-to-military program [with China] through the end of May," Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said in an interview.
"He has directed an internal review of the 'mil-to-mil' program and will consider several issues, such as how the program has been conducted to date, and assessing its goals," Adm. Quigley said.
Mr. Rumsfeld wants to look closely at "whether the program is meeting its objectives," he said.
"And when he looks at that, it will help to determine future activities of the U.S.-China military-to-military program," Adm. Quigley said.
A key criteria will be whether the program is reciprocal and is providing "mutual benefit," he said.
The first activity for this year is the visit to China beginning today by Adm. Dennis Blair.
Critics in Congress have charged that the program is helping the Chinese military build up its forces by providing sensitive information. China for its part has prevented U.S. military visitors from seeing comparable facilities in China, raising concerns about unequal reciprocity.
The Pentagon has until March 31 to provide Congress with a blueprint of the program for 2001, according to a provision of the fiscal 2001 defense-authorization act passed into law last year.


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