- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 16, 2000

Given the Clinton-Gore administration's laxity in controlling the export of military-related, high-technology products to Communist China, it should hardly be surprising that yet another case has surfaced in which a U.S. satellite corporation has been implicated in an illegal technology transfer to the administration's Asian "strategic partner." Last week, the State Department charged Lockheed Martin Corp. with illegally helping China develop satellite rocket technology. Since 1998, the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal investigation of two other U.S. satellite companies, Loral Space & Communications and Hughes Electronics Corp., which may have violated export-control laws by passing sensitive ballistic-missile guidance and control technology to China.

The State Department charged this month that in 1994 Lockheed Martin had "violated the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms regulations" by providing a technical-assessment report to a Hong Kong satellite company, Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. (Asiasat), which is linked to two state-run Chinese companies involved in military production, including ballistic missiles. The assessment explained how to fix problems with a Chinese-made solid-fuel rocket motor, a so-called kick motor that is used to position satellites in orbit.

As Bill Gertz of The Washington Times reported, the kick-motor technology could be useful in launching ballistic missiles carrying multiple, independently targetable warheads. Presently, China is believed to be able to launch multiple warheads on a single missile but not independently target them. That could change as a result of the technology transferred by Lockheed Martin. Kick motors are "interchangeable with the technology used for pointing warheads to precise points on the ground," Henry Sokolski told Mr. Gertz. "That's the reason the technology is controlled," Mr. Sokolski said. "If this stuff didn't have any military value, it wouldn't be licensed."

Lockheed Martin, which cited two licenses, one from the Commerce Department and one from the State Department, as the basis for transferring a 50-page report to Asiasat, claims to have done nothing wrong. The State Department, however, maintains that the technical information on the 50-page report required an additional State Department license before it could be transferred. Moreover, the State Department also has charged that the Pentagon had blacked out 45 pages of the 50-page report in its own review, but, according to the charges, Lockheed had already sent 10 copies of the unedited version to Asiasat. Lockheed Martin was charged with committing an additional violation for sharing the redacted version of its report with China Great Wall Industries, which produces ballistic missiles for the Chinese military.

Asiasat is partially owned by Wang Ju, a Chinese arms dealer whose father, the late Wang Zhen, one of the most reactionary communist leaders in China, strongly endorsed the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square. In February 1996, two years after Asiasat obtained Lockheed Martin's scientific assessment, Wang Ju attended one of the notorious White House coffees after meeting with then-Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. The following month, while China was lobbing ballistic missiles manufactured by China Great Wall Industries into the Taiwan Strait to intimidate the Taiwanese before their democratic elections, President Clinton rejected the recommendations of the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon and the State Department, all of whom argued that primary satellite-licensing authority should remain in the State Department. Instead, Mr. Clinton transferred that authority to Commerce, a decision that undoubtedly pleased Wang Ju. Two months later, Loral shared its 200-plus-page report about the causes of a Chinese rocket crash with a Chinese missile manufacturer without getting the report vetted by the government.

Later that summer, it's worth recalling, Chinese military intelligence began funneling money into the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign through Johnny Chung. Yes, that would be the same Al Gore who in 1992, as chairman of a Senate subcommittee on science, technology and space, wrote a classified letter to Secretary of State James Baker expressing concern that China, to which the Bush administration had granted a waiver permitting the Chinese to launch a U.S. satellite into space, would "gain foreign aerospace technology that would otherwise be unavailable to it." Under Mr. Gore's watch, it appears that China has acquired the technology that would enable it to independently target its multiple warheads carried on a single missile, a development that would dramatically increase the power of China's nuclear missile force.

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