CHINA MIS­SILE SALES

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

Newly re­leased clas­si­fied doc­u­ments re­veal China’s con­tin­ued vi­o­la­tions of the Mis­sile Tech­nol­ogy Con­trol Regime (MTCR) with sales of mis­siles and parts to Iran, Syria and Pak­istan.

A Sept. 18, 2009, State Depart­ment cable on the is­sue was pre­pared for an in­ter­na­tional meet­ing of the MTCR that year in Rio de Janeiro. The MTCR is an in­for­mal as­so­ci­a­tion of 34 states that seeks to limit ex­ports of mis­siles with ranges greater than 185 miles and war­heads heav­ier than 1,000 pounds.

Sent un­der Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s sig­na­ture, the cable in­cluded a re­port on Chinese mis­sile pro­lif­er­a­tion that on three oc­ca­sions re­ferred to a “lack of po­lit­i­cal will” by China to stop mis­sile trans­fers.

“Chinese authorities and firms fail to con­duct suf­fi­cient eval­u­a­tions of mis­sile-ap­pli­ca­ble trans­ac­tions or to take steps to know their cus­tomers,” the re­port said.

Sev­eral ca­bles, la­beled “se­cret,” were made pub­lic on Mon­day by the anti-se­crecy site Wik­iLeaks, show­ing Chinese vi­o­la­tions or cir­cum­ven­tions of the ac­cord.

“Other firms that are aware of the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in China’s ex­port-con­trol sys­tem take steps to con­ceal sen­si­tive trans­ac­tions and avoid de­tec­tion, in­clud­ing by adopt­ing new names and fal­si­fy­ing ship­ping doc­u­men­ta­tion. Ad­di­tion­ally, some firms may take ad­van­tage of gov­ern­ment con­nec­tions to skirt Chinese reg­u­la­tions,” the cable said.

Among the vi­o­la­tions were sales to Iran by China’s Dalian Sunny In­dus­tries, also known as LIMMT; sales of bal­lis­tic-mis­sile goods to Syria; and trans­fers by Shang­hai Tech­ni­cal By-Prod­ucts In­ter­na­tional Corp. to Iran of bal­lis­tic-mis­sile items.

Sanc­tions were im­posed on two Chinese firms in 2009: LIMMT for sales of graphite, tung­sten, gy­ro­scopes and ac­celerom­e­ters; and Bel­la­max for steel al­loys, gy­ro­scopes and ball bear­ings.

Chinese authorities ap­par­ently do not con­trol mis­sile ex­ports be­cause of too much re­liance on “for­eign tips” and a re­luc­tance to im­pose “catch-all” con­trols, the cable said.

One Chinese of­fi­cial was quoted as say­ing such con­trols are “not meant to catch ev­ery­thing.” An­other Chinese of­fi­cial was quoted as warn­ing U.S. of­fi­cials to back off pres­sur­ing Bei­jing be­cause “China’s busi­ness is its own busi­ness.”

John Tkacik, a for­mer State Depart­ment in­tel­li­gence spe­cial­ist, said claims that Bei­jing lacked po­lit­i­cal will to halt mis­sile pro­lif­er­a­tion is ab­surd.

“In fact, the Chinese gov­ern­ment is aid­ing and abet­ting the pro­lif­er­a­tion,” he said.

Mr. Tkacik said the ca­bles re­veal that Chinese diplo­mats lied to U.S. Em­bassy of­fi­cials in Bei­jing.

“They told the em­bassy that com­pa­nies had been ‘closed down,’ yet our in­tel­li­gence col­lec­tion shows those com­pa­nies con­tinue to func­tion unim­peded,” he said.

The re­port con­cluded that “un­til China ad­dresses the per­sis­tent short­falls in its ex­port­con­trol en­force­ment, bal­lis­ticmis­sile pro­grams in coun­tries of concern prob­a­bly will con­tinue to seek and re­ceive MTCR-con­trolled [. . . ] items from Chinese firms.”

A sec­ond cable from 2009 said Iran uses au­to­mo­tive fac­to­ries as “a pro­cure­ment cover for its mis­sile pro­grams,” some­thing Mr. Tkacik said is high­lighted by the 2007 deal be­tween China’s Ch­ery Au­to­mo­bile to set up a fac­tory in Iran to make cars.

“Stat­ing that com­modi­ties are in­tended for au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ing al­lows Iran a means of pur­chas­ing a va­ri­ety of dual-use goods, par­tic­u­larly spe­cialty met­als and in­dus­trial ma­chine tools, which could have util­ity in the au­to­mo­bile sec­tor, but which also of­ten are di­verted to sup­port its mis­sile pro­duc­tion and de­vel­op­ment ef­forts,” the sec­ond cable on mis­sile trends stated.

A third cable said North Korea de­vel­oped its mis­sile in­dus­try with crit­i­cally needed parts from for­eign sup­pli­ers, “most-com­monly China-based, given their prox­im­ity and ac­cess to tech­nol­ogy that would be ben­e­fi­cial to North Korea’s mis­sile pro­gram.”

China has been vi­o­lat­ing the MTCR for decades and first sold DF-11 short-range mis­siles to Pak­istan, while claim­ing it fol- lowed MTCR guide­lines. The DF-11 sales were cov­ered up by U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies dur­ing the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion to pre­vent the im­po­si­tion of sanc­tions un­der U.S. law. CIA arm­spro­lif­er­a­tion an­a­lyst Gor­don Oehler ex­posed the cover-up af­ter he was forced into re­tire­ment for re­fus­ing to go along.

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