Inside the Ring
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “since March 2008, the U.S. has provided Chinese officials with information regarding a number of cases of missile-related proliferation concern.”
“In the cases described below, we have received little or no response from China on the status of its investigations or on steps it is taking to address the concerns we have outlined,” said the cable, stamped “secret.” It was released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
The cable is a “talking points/non-paper” sent to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that appeared intended to diplomatically seek an explanation from the Chinese government for its failure to respond to nine U.S. cases in which Chinese state-run companies supplied missile and nuclear weapons-related goods to rogue states. They include:
Transfer by Beijing Tianlianxing Scientific Ltd. of 1,000 kilograms of specialty steel to Pakistan’s Aginel Enterprises, a firm linked to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. The steel is used for Pakistan’s Ghaznavi short-range ballistic missile and was banned under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
Sale by the Suzhou Testing Instrument Factory in 2009 to Pakistan’s Intralink Inc. of a vibration test system used with the Ghaznavi. The system is a key tool in simulating flight vibrations and shocks on rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles during launch, stage separation and normal flight.
Transfers of components and materials by the Dalian Sunny Industries, a longtime arms proliferator, to Iranian missile producers.
Transfers by the Shanghai Yuanshan Industry and Trade Co. of specialty aluminum to Syria’s Industrial Solutions, a front company for the Scientific Studies and Research Center that builds Syria’s ballistic missiles.
The aluminum “can be used to produce structural components in ballistic missiles and in some forms is controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Wassenaar Arrangement,” the cable said.
Sale of a wind tunnel by wellknown arms proliferator China Precision Machinery Import/Export Corp. and China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics. The wind tunnel “is controlled by the [Missile Technology Control Regime] to support missile-related research and development in Pakistan,” the cable said.
Polytechnologies, another well-known Chinese arms supplier to rogue states, also was singled out in the cable for using false documents to illicitly transfer a coil-winding machine and integrated optical chips to Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering and Research Organization, which is part of the Air Weapons Complex that builds nuclear weapons delivery systems, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Several Chinese companies together helped Pakistan’s missile program, specifically ring-rolling and flow-forming machines.
The Shenyang Huali Economic Trading Co. worked through North Korean intermediaries to act as “a key source of raw materials and technology for a North Korean ballistic missile development project in Syria,” the cable said.
The Hong Kong Most Group Co. was listed for selling Iran Chinese-origin aluminum plates used in the production of structural components in Scud missiles.
“We appreciate your interest in advancing our mutual nonproliferation goals and look forward to hearing your responses regarding these proliferation cases at the earliest possible time,” the cable said.
Former State Department China specialist John Tkacik, commenting on the cable, noted the above paragraph was a “nice touch.”
“That, alas, cannot be true even in the vaguest interpretation of syntax,” Mr. Tkacik said. “Given the secretary of state’s comment that ‘we have received little or no response,’ I’d say that reflects that the U.S. and China share ‘little or no’ [. . . ] ‘mutual nonproliferation goals.’ ”