Washington (December 21, 2018) - Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, today reflected on the Subcommittee’s work in the 115th Congress and celebrated their success in being the most productive Foreign Relations subcommittee and sending to be signed into law one of the most consequential legislative initiatives on Asia policy for generations.
“I want to thank Senator Markey for being such an incredible partner on this subcommittee,” said Senator Gardner. “Together, we held the most hearings of any Foreign Relations subcommittee in the 115th Congress – quite an achievement for the American people who sent us here to conduct vigorous oversight over our nation’s foreign affairs. Through our partnership we were able to pass ARIA, landmark legislation to guide United States foreign policy in Asia that will ensure that the United States remains the leading Pacific power for generations to come. I look forward to continuing our important work together in the 116th Congress.”
“I am proud of the work of the East Asia subcommittee, including our numerous hearings and discussion on the evolving challenges that Chinese policies and influence pose to the United States, to our allies and partners, and to the international system we built together to ensure stability, prosperity, and equality for all,” said Seantor Markey. “Passage of the Gardner-Markey Asia Reassurance Act was a capstone to our work, and will serve as an important guide for U.S. foreign policy in Asia. Senator Gardner has been a tremendous partner and friend on the subcommittee, and I look forward to continuing our work together.”
The Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity held 11 hearings in 2017-2018, the most hearings of any Foreign Relations subcommittee in the 115th Congress. In conjunction with these hearings, Senators Gardner and Ed Markey (D-MA) authored the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) -- landmark legislation that will strengthen our alliances and deter our adversaries in the Indo-Pacific for generations to come. To inform this legislation, the subcommittee conducted five hearings, examining a range of national security, economic, and rule of law challenges in the Indo-Pacific. The last hearing on May 15, 2018, featured State Department and Department of Defense officials. On June 21,2018, Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mattis formally endorsed ARIA in a formal letter to the committee. ARIA passed both houses of Congress and is now on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
The subcommittee held two specific hearings focused on North Korea, examining the shift from “strategic patience” policy of the Obama Administration to the “maximum pressure and engagement” policy of the Trump Administration. The subcommittee agreed that clearly much more work needs to be done to achieve complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearizing of the North Korean regime, as required by U.S. law. Additionally, Gardner and Markey held a hearing on cybersecurity policy, examining state-sponsored threats in cyberspace that represents a vital national security concern for the United States that needs to be seriously and immediately addressed.
Finally, the subcommittee held a three-part series of hearings, titled “The China Challenge” that examined how the United States should respond to the challenge of a China that seeks to upend – and supplant – the U.S-led liberal world order. The first two hearings focused on security and economic aspects of China’s authoritarian rise. The final hearing focused on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law -- values that have been fundamental to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy for generations.