- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2000

Senior Chinese military officials were shown sensitive data on how the U.S. military trains its forces for joint war fighting and other operations, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.
The documents are raising questions among critics in the Clinton administration and in Congress about whether the Pentagon is skirting a law passed last year limiting contacts with the Chinese military on sensitive topics, including joint war fighting.
Briefing slides outlining the sensitive data were presented during an hourlong presentation to a delegation of Chinese military officials from the Academy of Military Science at a training center that is part of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in southern Virginia.
The sensitive, unclassified information was explained by Army Maj. Gen. William S. Wallace, the head of the Joint Warfighting Center and director of the command's joint training on Aug. 24.
The briefing outlined the structure of the command and its approach and activities in support of joint military training how to integrate various military services and components into a single fighting force.
According to the documents, the dual requirements for joint training are to "preserve and advance joint operational and warfighting skills with [Unified Endeavor] exercises," and to support commanders in conducting joint training.
Several defense officials said privately that the joint war-fighting briefing appears to circumvent congressionally mandated limitations on military exchanges with the Chinese military.
Sen. Robert C. Smith, New Hampshire Republican, and Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, have said the visit to the Norfolk-based command and similar activities involving a group of Chinese colonels at Harvard University violate congressional restrictions on information sharing.
Mr. Smith said the programs are "a clear violation of the intent of Congress" in limiting such contacts. "I regret deeply that our soldiers are being forced to submit to the Clinton pro-Beijing agenda," he said.
Mr. DeLay has said the visit to the Joint Forces Command and Pentagon support for a group of visiting Chinese colonels showed the administration's "reckless disregard" for U.S. national security.
The congressmen said they are considering new legislation to close loopholes that appear to have been exploited by the administration in helping the Chinese learn about U.S. military capabilities.
China has not reciprocated with visits or briefings in China for U.S. military officers, according to Pentagon officials.
The Chinese are the only Asian military to be given the briefing, Pentagon officials said. Taiwan has been denied access to the information, and military officials from Japan, South Korean and other Asian nations have not been briefed at the Joint Force Command.
"This is partly a Chinese initiative," one official said. "They singled out this briefing as the most important part of their visit."
James Lilly, a former U.S. ambassador to China, said the exchange program with the Chinese military "has been remarkable for its lack of reciprocity."
"That's the way it has been all the way through, and we've been outmaneuvered," said Mr. Lilly, now with the American Enterprise Institute.
Al Santoli, a China defense specialist and aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, said the joint war-fighting information contained in the briefing slides could help the Chinese military develop joint war-fighting capabilities. It is an area of intense interest to the Chinese, who could use the information to improve their capability for future military action against Taiwan, he said.
The Academy of Military Science delegation, including three generals, began its visit Aug. 18 and ended Friday with a trip to the U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Honolulu.
A section of the fiscal 2000 defense authorization bill that President Clinton signed into law in October states that the secretary of defense "may not authorize any military-to-military exchanges or contact … with representatives of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China if that exchange or contact would create a national security risk due to inappropriate exposure" to military information.
The law lists 12 topics the Pentagon is barred from discussing with the Chinese, including "joint warfighting experiments and other activities related to a transformation in warfare."
The law also bans any discussion with the Chinese military on "advanced combined arms and joint combat operations" the specialty of the Joint Forces Command.
Gen. Wallace could not be reached for comment on the briefing, and a spokesman for the Joint Forces Command had no immediate comment.

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