BEI­JING’S PRO­LIF­ER­A­TION

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

More than a dozen clas­si­fied State Depart­ment ca­bles made pub­lic Au. 30 re­veal ex­ten­sive and con­tin­u­ous Chi­nese arms and equip­ment trans­fers to Iran, Syria, North Korea and Pak­istan, most of them in vi­o­la­tion of U.N. sanc­tions or in­ter­na­tional arms con­trol agree­ments.

The doc­u­ments pro­vide de­tails on scores of Chi­nese com­pa­nies that for more than a decade have been pro­vid­ing weapons of mass de­struc­tion goods and tech­nol­ogy.

A May 5, 2003, cable, for ex­am­ple, dis­cusses China’s sup­ply­ing of glass-lined chem­i­cal pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy used for Iran’s chem­i­cal weapons, and also “jet mill/mi­cron­niz­ers” that are used to make bi­o­log­i­cal weapons.

A March 10, 2006, cable high­lights China’s sup­ply­ing sev­eral tons of stain­less steel to North Korea’s main weapons trader and a “ring-rolling” ma­chine to Pak­istan for use in mak­ing mis­siles.

China also sold goods to Syria that were used to make rock­ets for Hezbol­lah ter­ror ists in Le­banon. One cable said on July 6, 2007, South Korean of­fi­cials in­ter­cepted a ship­ment of Chi­nese-ori­gin steel on the way to Syria that “was to be used in the pro­duc­tion of rock­ets for ” Hezbol­lah.

In 2006, af­ter re­peated ap­peals to China to halt the arms pro­lif­er­a­tion, the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion im­posed sanc­tions on four Chi­nese com­pa­nies. A short time later, the Bush White House is­sued yet an­other ap­peal to the Chi­nese to take steps to stop the il­licit arms trade, mainly with Iran.

Then a June 28, 2006, cable said that, de­spite a Chi­nese prom­ise to “take im­me­di­ate ac­tion in re­sponse to any new pro­lif­er­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties by these firms,” one of the sanc­tioned com­pa­nies, China National Pre­ci­sion Ma­chin­ery Im­port-Ex­port Cor­po­ra­tion, shipped additional goods to Iran’s mis­sile maker.

A month later at a meet­ing on the nu­mer­ous pro­lif­er­a­tion cases, Chi­nese of­fi­cials in­sisted they found noth­ing wrong or were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

One of the cases in­volved Chi­nese national Gao Yiming, who re­veal grow­ing U.S. frus­tra­tion with con­tin­ued Chi­nese pro­lif­er­a­tion, not­ing in the case of Dalian Sunny In­dus­try that “since Fe­bru­ary 2006, we have re­peat­edly dis­cussed with China our con­cerns re­gard­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion-re­lated trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties” of the com­pany for sales of com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als used for mis­sile frames.

Many of the ca­bles out­line talk­ing points for U.S. of­fi­cials to use in diplo­matic ex­changes with the Chi­nese that be­gin: “In the spirit of our co­op­er­a­tion on non­pro­lif­er­a­tion is­sues, we would like to alert you to. [. . . ]” The nu­mer­ous ca­bles that out­lined on­go­ing arms pro­lif­er­a­tion raise ques­tions about that co­op­er­a­tion.

Said former State Depart­ment China spe­cial­ist John Tkacik: “I don’t know how to say Ground­hog Day in Chi­nese, but the Chi­nese have not done any­thing to scale back their nu­clear, chem­i­cal and mis­sile pro­lif­er­a­tion de­spite 22 years of State Depart­ment de­marches.

“Un­like the movie, how­ever, the State Depart­ment doesn’t seem to have learned any­thing from Bei­jing’s re­peated stif­farm­ing, pre­var­i­ca­tions, eva­sions and out­right lies. So Bei­jing just keeps on be­hav­ing as it al­ways has,” he said.

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