Presenter: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Sedney
March 03, 2008
DoD News Briefing with David Sedney from the Pentagon Briefing Room, Arlington, Va.
MODERATOR: Well, welcome, and thank you for joining us this afternoon. It's my pleasure to introduce to you the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, David Sedney, who is here to present as well as answer some of your questions about the 2008 DOD Report to Congress on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China. He does have some of his subject matter experts along with him, and he may call on them if we get into some of the details.
But with that, let me turn it over to David for a brief overview and then take your questions. David?
MR. SEDNEY: Thank you. Thanks very much. I think I see some familiar faces out there. Some people traveled along with Secretary Gates out to China, Japan and Korea back in November, I think it was. Happy to see you again.
I'm here to brief you, really to answer your questions on the China Military Power Report. We've already released the report. I hope all of you had a chance to read it over. If you haven't read the entire report, I think the executive summary really gives you a lot of the real key issues there.
A couple of things I'd like to point out.
One is that this is the first year we've been able to basically release the report on time, and that goes to -- that's due to a great deal of effort by my staff here and a lot of other people in the U.S. government who've worked very hard over the past year to do that. The Congress has asked that the report be delivered every year on March 1st, and this year -- well, March 1st was a Saturday, so we were able to do it today. We were able to go up and brief the staff of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee, and they were very appreciative that we had done it this year.
The second thing I want to stress is that while, as mandated by Congress, this is a military power report that's, of course naturally enough, drafted by the Department of Defense, it's the U.S. government's unified view on Chinese military power. So this report has been vetted and cleared across our entire interagency -- the White House, the NSC, State Department, the intelligence community, other agencies involved as well. So it really is a collective view. It's not specific to -- just to the Department of Defense.
That said, the China Military Power Report, I think, as it states directly, portrays a China that not only is a rising economic power, but it's a rising military power. It shows that China's -- the new capabilities that China's acquiring have implications for not just the region but globally. And it discusses a lot of areas where we don't have full knowledge of what we're talking about.
China's military buildup has been characterized by opacity, by the inability of both people in the region and people around the world to -- rather -- I'm sorry -- the inability of people in the region and around the world to really know what ties together the capabilities that China's acquiring with the intentions it has. So, there's a lot of areas where there's misunderstanding, a lot of areas where there's lack of knowledge. And we don't pretend, in this report, to be able to answer every question, because we can't.
But this report is a very, very serious attempt, again, by the entire U.S. government, to present in a fair and factual way what we see as the facts of China's military power. We will always look to do better. We think this year's report is better than last year's, and I'm sure that next year's will be better than this year's. But, in -- it's designed, really, to speak for itself. So I'm not going to get into all the details, but if you have questions, we'll be prepared to answer them, including on details. And I have with me here David Helvey, who's our senior China director, who is a key lead on this effort.
I also wanted to mention to you that I've actually only been back a little over 12 hours from China, where on Thursday and Friday in Shanghai we had the fourth session of our Defense Policy Consultative (sic Coordination) talks with the Chinese. You may have seen some of the earlier press reporting. We signed an agreement on the Defense telephone link that will enable us to go ahead and put the equipment into place in the next couple of weeks. That was a culmination of a very long effort, and I know those of you who were with us when you traveled with the secretary, we had some discussions about that. But that's done now, and that's really, I think, very good, very important news.
We also signed an agreement with the Chinese on access to Korean War-era archives. My colleague Deputy Secretary of Defense for Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Affairs Charles Ray signed that agreement. It had actually been 17 years in the making. I -- when I was posted in the embassy in Beijing back in 1991, I started talking to the Chinese about that. But the Korean War's a very sensitive subject for the Chinese and between us.
But at the same time, our families of those who are still missing in action from the Korean War deserve much more information than they've had, and we think this is an important step forward.
Beyond those two formal agreements in these talks that I had with the Chinese, which I would say were surprisingly successful, we also agreed to move forward on our dialogue on nuclear strategy and policy. Again, those of you who are with us -- with the secretary traveling, you will recall that he mentioned that. We're going to go ahead and start. We have a process. The Chinese have agreed to that process, and we're very happy about that. We think it's an area that really needs a lot more discussion between the U.S. and China, and one where we don't expect this to solve all the problems, and there are certainly a number of areas in the nuclear field that we address in this report as areas where we'd like to have more information. This dialogue won't address them all from the beginning, but it'll be a forum where we can deepen and expand our knowledge, and the Chinese, of course, will have a chance to discuss with us.
Beyond that, the Chinese, who always object to the military power report, generally protest very strongly against it, that also have agreed to begin a dialogue where our drafters of the Chinese military power report and their -- the Chinese drafters of their regular white paper, which they put out about every two years, is that right, David?
: Every two years.
MR. SEDNEY: Every two years -- their drafters and our drafters will get together. In fact, we'll be sending Mr. Helvey there to lead that delegation in the next few months.
So we'll be able to sit down and discuss the -- that they'll be able to sit down and discuss their objections to the report. We, of course, are not going to be the position of having them edit it, but we're also -- that will also give us a forum for asking them a lot of the questions that are raised by the report.
Additionally, we had discussions about Africa. We had a presentation on the formation of AFRICOM, and the Chinese gave us a presentation on their role in Africa. And we agreed to continue discussions on Africa in the military field, and I think that's a very positive thing.
We don't want anybody to see -- we don't want ourselves or the Chinese to see Africa as a forum for conflict or competition between the United States and China, but rather an area where we can work together to address the many needs in Africa, including in the security field. We had again, as I said, a very successful set of discussions on that in that way.
But I've said I would give a brief introduction. I've maybe gone past that already. So let me go ahead and turn it over to all of you for questions.
Q Sir, just very briefly, your mentioning of the meeting of drafters, is that -- will that be the first time --
MR. SEDNEY: Yes. That would be the first time.
Q Okay. I had a question for you on the military power report.
There seemed to be somewhat more emphasis on China's counter-space capabilities and their cyberwarfare potential. I'm wondering if those are two areas where you feel there is more reason for concern on U.S. --
MR. SEDNEY: Well, certainly in both those areas, there's reason for concern.
In the counter-space area, the Chinese test of an anti-satellite system, a little over a year ago, was something that really brought home, in a very dramatic way, the capabilities that China has been developing, not that we weren't aware of those developments beforehand. But when you see something actually used, then it certainly attracts your attention. Because you've seen that not only are they working on it but they've done it; they've acquired that capability.
We continue to ask the Chinese to sit down and talk to us about that test, and they haven't. Their reaction, as Secretary Gates said in his press conference back in November in Beijing, we really just haven't had a response on that. And so we continue to ask for that and press for that, and we hope we will get that.
And in the cyber area that you mentioned, there continue to be around the world, not just in the United States but around the world, many, many computer intrusions that are sourced back to the PRC.
While we're not able to definitively label them as the work of the PLA or the Chinese government, the techniques that are used, the way these intrusions are conducted are certainly very consistent with what you would need if you were going to actually carry out cyberwarfare, and the kinds of activities that are carried out are consistent with a lot of writings we see from Chinese military and Chinese military theorists.
So it's an area that I would say, yes, definitely is of growing concern, but again, one where we don't have very much clarity at all and where we really need to have a much better understanding of the Chinese. And it would be best, of course, if that understanding came from the Chinese themselves, if they were to come forward and tell us what's going on.
Q David, what's the bottom line? I mean, should policymakers -- based on this report, should policymakers in Washington be alarmed? And the second question for you is, what does this report say about China's ambitions? Are they regional? Are they global?
MR. SEDNEY: I think, as I said, this report is very careful -- it's not the China military policy report. It's the China Military Power Report. And so it's a description of China military power. It's not -- in terms of drawing the kinds of conclusions -- that's your discussion -- that's really, I think, in many ways for readers and policymakers to be --to make. But I certainly wouldn't say that it's one where we would say that people should be alarmed. This process of the Chinese military modernization, the process of the growth and the rise of China, including in the military area, has been a phenomenon that has been under way for some years, and one that we've been tracking very closely. The mandate from the Congress in 1999 to begin this report was part of that process.
I think the biggest thing for people to be concerned about, really, is the fact that we don't have that kind of strategic understanding of these Chinese intentions, and that leads to uncertainty, that leads to a readiness to hedge against the possibility that China's development will go in ways that the Chinese right now say it won't.
The Chinese tell us today that their rise is peaceful. They tell us that their intentions are very much to be part of the international system. But when we have all these capabilities that are -- very clearly have regional and global reach, going to your point, so their capabilities are increasing and growing beyond just the area immediately around China, where it was, say, 20, 30 years ago, then questions develop.
And up until now, we don't have a sufficient understanding -- and when I say "we," I mean not just the United States, but also China's neighbors and the rest of the countries in the world. We're continually asked -- I'm personally asked by my colleagues from around the world, what do I think China's intentions are? And I can give an opinion. We can all give opinions, but the people who can really give the answer are the Chinese.
Q Well, what do you think those intentions are?
MR. SEDNEY: Sorry?
Q What do you think those intentions are?
MR. SEDNEY: I think those intentions are unclear. I mean, if I knew all the answers, then you have all the answers here. But China's a growing country. China's undergoing a lot of change.
And the problem that we have -- and this is not just in the military area, I would say, but there's a lot of areas where a lack of understanding of China -- opacity about China's processes, from a lot of areas I don't deal with now but I dealt with in the past -- for example, health and safety issues. You've seen all the stories over the last several years. So it's not just a military issue, this lack of transparency. And it's not just a military issue that it -- if -- that these issues are important now for China, because as China continues to grow and expand and influence the course of world events, it's important for us to have a clear understanding.
Q I wonder if you could talk a little bit about what the report says about the development of China's missile technology over the last year and the expansion both of regional missiles challenging Taiwan and more global intercontinental technology. And how much is that being -- what is that being driven by? Is it purely a Taiwan situation? Is it developing of a supply of Patriot missile defenses to Taiwan or other missile defense technology?
MR. SEDNEY: Again, what's driving it is a question that I have to urge you to ask the Chinese, because we can make a certain amount of guesses or assumptions, and sometimes they can be pretty good guesses or assumptions, but the real answer to that has to come from the Chinese.
Certainly, in terms of the quality and effectiveness of their missile forces, the Chinese continue to demonstrate the ability to produce an effective missile force, and from our -- from what we see of it, it's something -- it's a missile force that is -- as it is able to carry out the missions which they appear to have a design for it. First of all, of course, is Taiwan. The -- and both the kinds of missiles that they're developing and they're basing are -- I think in that case it's very clear that they're aimed against Taiwan, and they've continued to increase the numbers of missiles, as we point out in the report, at a fairly advanced and very fast rate, that they deploy opposite Taiwan.
But they also are developing a wider range of missiles, and they've had missiles for a long time. The Chinese have had a missile capability for a long time, and they certainly continue to have missiles that are capable of carrying their -- their nuclear weapons. And they continue to have what they are, I think, clearly designing as a nuclear deterrent and keeping in place a nuclear deterrent, and that missile capability is very strong.
The Chinese are very capable in a broad range of these areas.
Q Well, then, what would you say is the biggest change from the last report? What are the developments -- because we've seen this incremental increase in military spending for some time now, what's the biggest change?
MR. SEDNEY: I have to say there's no one biggest change. If you look through this year's report and compare it with last year's report, you'll see a number of areas where there are changes and there are things that are new. But there's no one big dramatic change. I can't -- (chuckles) -- I can't write your headline for you here, and I don't think there is a headline out of that.
It really -- the real story is the continuing -- is the continuing development, the continuing modernization, the continuing acquisition of capabilities and the corresponding and unfortunate lack of understanding, lack of transparency about the intentions behind those and the way they're going to be deployed. What is China going to do with all that?
Q Can you -- you mentioned a couple of times several areas of misunderstanding. What are the one or two areas that are the most troublesome to you and specifically one or two programs that are most troublesome, that you don't have that understanding on -- of?
And then, also, you said last year the Chinese protested very strongly against the report.
Can you tell us some of the specific things they protested against? If there haven't been any major changes in the report this year, are they presumably going to protest the same specifics, or --
MR. SEDNEY: I've worked on U.S.-China relations for almost 25 years, and I can feel very certain they're going to protest against this year's report again and most likely very similar to what they did last year. And they will say that it is anti-China. They say it portrays a China threat. They will say that it mischaracterizes China. Those are the sort of things they've said in the past, and it's -- maybe it's not fair of me to give their press lines before they have a chance to get their press release out, but that's what I would expect.
And our response to those or to that will be that this is the report that's done the very best we can, based on the information we have, and we would love to hear more from you about what those strategic intentions are behind your developments.
I think in terms of areas where we would like to do more, it's a little dangerous to single out one, because there are really so many. But I think the areas that were raised in the previous questions -- space, cyber, nuclear issues; missile issues. Those are areas that I get questions on very regularly, not just from people here in the Pentagon but from people in the region and around the world. So those are some of the areas that are important.
Q Just a couple of things. First, on the section on cyber- attacks, it talks about intrusion and attacks. Can you just define also the difference there? And do you regard any of the intrusions which were traced back to China from the past year as in fact being attacks, or do you regard them as more an attempt to kind of snoop in and look at things?
MR. SEDNEY: I think we've been fairly careful in the language to distinguish between the intrusions, which we know have been happening, and attacks, which are things that can happen and can use the techniques. The exact same techniques that you use to intrude into a computer you could use to then attack it later on. And so we are not saying that there have been -- that these things are attacks, but they are intrusions. And intrusions also give you the ability to both look at what's inside and take out what's inside.
And that has clearly happened. Large amounts of data have been taken out in these intrusions. That doesn't mean that that data has been destroyed, but it could have been.
It doesn't mean it's been altered, but it could have been. So there are all these possibilities there.
That, I guess, is -- it's a very careful answer to your question, and I think I have to be careful when I answer your questions.
Q Isn't that an attack if you went into my house and took things out of my house? Isn't that more than an intrusion?
MR. SEDNEY: We're getting into philosophy here, but if I -- I think it's, perhaps, more like if someone went into your house and took a picture and left what was there, but then they went off -- but they went off with the image of it.
But I think the whole area of cyber presents new challenges to us, both in the defense world, the intelligence world and the legal world. The whole world of the Internet presents these kind of challenges that we're struggling with, but it is important for countries to behave responsibly. And I think you'll notice in the report that we point out statements by other governments directly through the Chinese about their concerns, because it's not just the United States that has been subject to these intrusions -- (word inaudible) -- in China. It's been countries all over the world.
MODERATOR: (Inaudible) -- first row, and then we'll go to the second row.
Q Is it fair to say that this report paints a picture of China accelerating its capability to attack U.S. carriers through anti-ship cruise missiles and this whole area- denial theory strategy. That seems to be a message here, that they're accelerating their development of missiles like that.
MR. SEDNEY: I would say they're continuing to develop it. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the term "accelerating the development," but they're certainly developing it. They're certainly putting a lot of resources into it, and they certainly are, as I said before, very technical and very capable. And I think we make that point here.
Q I have one follow-up. They bought from the Russians the SS-N-27B SIZZLER. The U.S.-China commission says that's its most advanced anti-ship missile in the world because of its supersonic capabilities. What capability does, in fact, China now have, because these missiles are on eight of their 12 KILOs?
MR. SEDNEY: Getting into some -- into a little technical area, but why don't I go ahead and ask my colleague, David Helvey, to go ahead and answer that.
Q With a capability that the report talks about.
DAVID HELVEY (director, China, Taiwan and Mongolia Affairs, U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission): It's -- as the report talks about, yeah, with the most recent batch of KILOs, China had the SS-N-27Bravo Anti-Ship Cruise Missile, and as you point out, it's a very effective, very capable anti-ship cruise missile.
But one of the things that it's important to point out is that the missile itself is -- (off mike) -- technology in terms of having the operational capability, it's a function of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance network, the training and the integration of all those.
So this is still a new weapons system for China, and we're going to be watching carefully how they integrate that anti-ship cruise missile into their submarine force with the ISR architecture that they need to have.
Q Does it give them a major boost, though, that they didn't have a year or two ago?
MR. HELVEY (?): It terms of having that particular weapons system, yes. That weapons system is significantly more sophisticated than the previous anti-ship cruise missiles that they've had. As you may know, they had the Sunburn --
MR. HELVEY (?): -- on the Sovremenny class guided missile destroyers. Well, this one has a much longer range. But like the Sunburn, the Sizzler is designed to go after ship-based self-defense systems. So in that sense, it's capable. It's similar to the Sunburn, but this one has a longer range, and it's fired from submarines.
Q Thank you.
MR. SEDNEY: Okay. Here's --
Q The intrusions, the computer network intrusions, have they been in classified systems? And the data that's been taken out, has it included classified data?
MR. SEDNEY: No and no.
Q Even the government systems have all been unclassified?
MR. SEDNEY: Yes.
Q What advantage do they gain -- could they gain from that?
MR. SEDNEY: They gain an awful lot. There's a lot that is unclassified knowledge, that it -- by, in some cases, the sheer volume, other cases by the indications, and other cases by the fact that we're an extraordinarily open society that people -- not just the Chinese, perhaps, but all kinds of people around the world can get. And there's always that struggle in our society and in our way of doing business between openness and utilities, using the Internet and that kind of thing and the need to keep secrets. I think it's something that we are constantly reviewing here, working very hard to make sure that things that are classified remain classified.
But at the same time, there's -- there really is a whole lot of things that are in the unclassified world that, taken together -- and I would include in this a lot of proprietary business material that is not classified because it might not have even been something that is developed by, paid for by, associated with the Department of Defense.
There's a whole range of scientific and technological material, that is available through people in the contracting world and elsewhere, that just isn't classified, that can be the subject of these intrusions.
Q The report talks about espionage. Is that connected, linked to the cyberintrusions?
MR. SEDNEY: Well, again we're very careful here to say that we don't know that there's a direct link between the PRC government, the PLA, the organizations and these intrusions. That's -- we don't have that. But the kinds of things that are done are certainly the kinds of things that espionage agencies would do. But I don't have -- there isn't that direct link. And so I can't answer that question that way.
Q Two questions.
First, do you have any better knowledge now, than a year ago or two years ago, as to how the decision-making process works within the Chinese senior leadership and the military. Specifically the ASAT test and more recently the Kitty Hawk -- who was responsible?
And second of all, if you look at the balance of forces across the Taiwan Strait, ground forces are down. And while airpower is up, the number of bombers and fighters, within range of Taiwan, is quite a bit down. What does that say about what China's doing vis-a-vis Taiwan and their posture there?
MR. SEDNEY: Well, first of all, on any particular numbers of planes and also capabilities deployed across the Taiwan Strait, those are things that can change very rapidly. The Chinese can deploy. The Chinese have a lot of resources, throughout the country, which they can deploy in the Taiwan Strait area and which they practice deploying on a regular basis.
So if you're looking at the Taiwan Strait, we wouldn't look just at any one point in time. You know, we do look at what's based there. But it's important to remember there's even a larger number of assets there.
In terms of the -- did you want to add anything, David?
MR. HELVEY: I would also point out that as China's military forces improve, in terms of the quality of their equipment, you'll also see the retirement of older platforms and airframes. So in some cases, you may see a decrement in total numbers, but you have a higher percentage of much more capable platforms and systems.
So, I mean, I would factor that in mind, that this is a military that is undergoing a comprehensive transformation. And so a lot of things are changing on a year-to-year --
Q So it would be wrong to interpret this as a less aggressive stance across the Taiwan Strait.
MR. SEDNEY: Well, it would be wrong to interpret it as a less capable stance. I wouldn't -- and I think, as we say in the report, it's a more capable stance. The Chinese continue to increase their capabilities.
Q And on the leadership question?
MR. SEDNEY: On the leadership question, I would say no. We don't have any better understanding than we did a year ago of Chinese leadership decision-making processes and what goes into those -- what goes into that. That continues to be an area where we really don't have a very good picture.
Q But when you met them last week, did you ask them who took the decision on the Kitty Hawk and did they have an explanation?
MR. SEDNEY: I guess there -- as someone reminded me before I came out here, there are some questions which I can't answer, and that would be one of them. Certainly we've discussed the issue of the Kitty Hawk with them, but I'll just leave it at that.
Q Yeah, on the nuclear strategic talks you said China agreed on, could you elaborate on the process that they agreed on? And also, do we expect the head of the 2nd Artillery, Jing Zhiyuan, to be here this year?
MR. SEDNEY: We don't have a timetable for the actual visit of General Jing. As you know, that invitation was issued, I think, a little over a year and half ago, two years ago. David?
MR. HELVEY: November 2006.
MR. SEDNEY: November 2006 was -- an invitation was issued. But we do have a process in place now. This process was proposed by the PLA, and the first part of that will be a discussion between Chinese military officers and Chinese military academics and counterparts here in the U.S. And we expect that to happen in the next month or so, and -- maybe two months. And then from there we'll go on to the next steps. But it was the Chinese proposal to move ahead with that. And we do look forward, very much, to having a visit or exchange, a meeting, with General Jing and our STRATCOM commander. But whether that'll be this year or next year, that'll depend upon the pace of this process.
Q Just one question: that for a few years we saw from this report the number of the missiles deployed of Taiwan is increasing continually. But on the other hand, we don't really see the discussion about, you know, how U.S. or Taiwan is going to deal with this problem. In the past we have suggested on the Chinese side to freeze the numbers or even, you know, withdraw some of the missiles. But in the report, we don't see this kind of discussion anymore. I wonder: is there a reason you can't, you know, tell us?
And the second question is that the report also indicated the balance has shifted to China's favor, you know, steadily, for a few years. And you have discussed this with Taiwan authority in the past. I wonder: have you achieved any, you know, solid accomplishments after your talks with, you know, Taiwanese counterparts? This year has -- any progress has really been made to address this -- (off mike)?
MR. SEDNEY: Well, first, on the issue of the policy that comes out of the military power that's described here, you're correct; it's not addressed in the report. But that's because we're keeping the report focused on the facts. What are the -- what is the extent of China's military power? And yes, in the case of the missiles, they're deploying across from Taiwan, this is clearly an issue that we're very concerned about and which we have raised very strongly and consistently at high levels over the years with the Chinese. There have been various proposals at the policy level about that. And so far, of course, we haven't seen that happen. The missiles continue to be deployed, and as you said, they continue -- the numbers continue to increase.
In terms of the response of Taiwan to this shift, we were very pleased this year to -- that Taiwan passed in July a 2007 budget, in December a 2008 budget, which increased rather substantially the amount of money and the percentage of its resources that Taiwan will be spending on its own defense. And we think that's very important.
And we'll be -- we've made it -- as a result, we've made a number of notifications, which have been in the press, about the weapons systems Taiwan will be acquiring. And we think those will help address that -- the issue of the balance in the Taiwan Straits. But that certainly won't address it completely, because as China continues the -- its -- both its modernization and its deployment of forces on Taiwan, that process that you had mentioned does continue, and we continue to not just watch it carefully but take all appropriate measures that we have to do to be prepared for any eventuality.
MODERATOR: We have time for maybe one more.
Q There was a cyberintrusion last summer that affected DOD e- mail accounts, forced some of them to be knocked down. Was that determined to have originated in China?
And separately, can you tell us what percentage or what's the estimate for how many of the cyberintrusions in the U.S. target DOD or defense industries?
MR. SEDNEY: On the last question of how many -- what percentage of them target DOD, no, I don't. We know they are very broad -- widespread, and I would be -- I would hazard that we don't really know the full extent of them. So to say what percentage of them are DOD would imply that we know about all of them, and I don't think that we do. And I have to plead a little bit of ignorance on that also because the sort of global cyberdefense thing is not my area.
In terms of the specific thing you mentioned, I know that there were a lot of reports about that, but I don't think that I have enough information to comment on that for you.
We mentioned one more -- maybe I'll take one more because you had up -- you your hand up from the very beginning, and I --
Q Throughout these military power reports, the lack of transparency has been a great concern. And here in this report, we see that for defense expenditure figures, 2007, the DOD low estimate is almost twice of that of China's announced budget. So what are you doing specifically to try to get more transparency on the part of the People's Republic of China?
MR. SEDNEY: For one thing, we make it a point -- and it's not just because we want to know the numbers; it's because of the impact of the numbers on policy -- we make it a point in all of our discussions, whether they're at the working level or the very highest levels -- the secretary made it a point when he met with the top Chinese leaders last fall to continue to make this point.
The response of the Chinese has been, I would say, very slow. There's been a little bit of progress over the years, but so little that it's really hard to measure against the scope of the problem.
I hope, in these upcoming discussions, we'll be able to get a little better idea of that.
The Chinese will be announcing, in the next couple of days, their budget for the coming year, including their military budget. I would very much appreciate it. I would call on them to be more transparent and forthcoming in describing that military budget when they announce it in the next couple of days.
Q (Off mike.)
MR. SEDNEY: (Off mike) -- because, of course, they knew it was coming. It comes every year.
We didn't brief them on the content of it. But since it's a congressional report, we do that to Congress first. We will be actually, David and I will be, going and talking with them in a few minutes actually. And they've had the chance to read it already.
Q The Chinese?
MR. SEDNEY: The Chinese, yeah. We'll have the Chinese defense attache coming in, and giving him an opportunity, to both give his reaction but also to talk to him about it.
Q Do you do that every year?
MR. SEDNEY: Pardon me.
Yes, and we do it very broadly. David and his colleagues will be meeting a very broad range of defense attaches and others and doing -- there's a lot of interest, and we're responsive.