Congressional interest in the Chinese military, or People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has increased as a result of the March 1996 tensions in the Taiwan Strait, continuing allegations of Chinese proliferation of technology useful in weapons of mass destruction, and reports that some Chinese defense-related corporations have circumvented U.S. export controls to acquire dual-use technology. The Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), an important, high-level PLA organization, plays a role in China’s weapon programs, sales of civilian goods, acquisition of military technology, and arms sales and export controls. The purpose of this CRS Report is to examine the origins and command, roles, and influence of COSTIND.
In an effort to reduce the costs of its military systems and gain greater access to state-of-the-art technologies, the Department of Defense is pursuing what is being called a "dual-use" strategy. This strategy seeks to make greater use of the commercial sector in developing and manufacturing military goods. This report discusses issues raised over the implementation of this strategy.