- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2000

The Pentagon is hosting a group of Chinese strategic military planners whose trip to sensitive U.S. military facilities is raising questions in Congress about violations of law.
The delegation from China's Academy of Military Sciences arrived Friday and is headed by Gen. Wang Zuxun, the new head of the academy that is developing military doctrine on how China can use advanced technology to defeat more powerful foes like the United States, said Pentagon officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The group traveled earlier this week to several U.S. military schools, but its visit today to the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk is causing concern among some members of Congress and officials in the Pentagon.
The command is where the U.S. military is developing its most advanced war-fighting techniques and doctrine information known to be a target of Chinese military spying.
Sen. Robert C. Smith, New Hampshire Republican, said allowing Chinese military officials to visit the command appears to violate recent congressional legislation he co-sponsored that prohibits the Pentagon from helping China develop war-fighting capabilities.
The law was sponsored jointly by Mr. Smith and Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, and created what the Pentagon calls the Smith-DeLay guidelines for Chinese military exchanges.
"I am shocked that DoD appears to be thwarting the law with regard to the Smith/DeLay U.S.-P.R.C. military-to-military restrictions," Mr. Smith told The Washington Times in a statement.
Mr. Smith said the visit to the Joint Forces Command could help China's military learn sensitive data on U.S. advanced war-fighting experiments.
"The congressional restrictions specifically prohibit inappropriate exposure to joint war-fighting experimentation," Mr. Smith said. "Why should the Pentagon be seen to be facilitating Beijing in the pursuit of that goal when, on an almost daily basis, the [People's Republic of China] is threatening to attack democratic Taiwan and the United States itself if we intervened to defend Taiwan?"
Mr. DeLay also said he was troubled by the visit.
"It's incredible that the Clinton-Gore administration is acting as tour guides for People's Liberation Army officials visiting sensitive American military facilities when only last week it stopped members of Congress from meeting with the democratically elected leader of Taiwan when he was visiting Los Angeles," Mr. DeLay told The Times.
Three Chinese generals are among the group, including Gen. Wang, a former ground forces commander. The academy is China's leading military think tank for the so-called revolution in military affairs modern, high-technology warfare. It also specializes in developing doctrine on "information warfare" attacks on computers and electronic-based infrastructures.
The Chinese military delegation is part of the Pentagon's military exchange program with China, which has come under fire from critics, who say it will boost China's military.
The visit will continue through Sept. 1. The itinerary includes meetings at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Army War College in Pennsylvania, the Army's Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., and the U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu. The group will visit the Pentagon later this week.
Asked if the visit will conform to the Smith-DeLay guidelines, a defense official said the Pentagon believes it does.
However, the official said Congress was not informed about the places where the Academy of Military Sciences officials will visit. The official said Congress was notified earlier of the general outline of the entire military-to-military exchange program that included "a forecast" of the visit.
The Chinese visit to Norfolk comes during a current war-fighting experiment called Joint Deployment Process Improvement, which simulates a major military deployment.
A Pentagon description of the experiment says it is designed "to improve joint war-fighting capabilities."
The restrictions on Chinese military exchanges specifically prohibit any exchanges that will improve China's joint war-fighting capabilities, an area the Chinese military is known to be working on.
The command also is the location of the Joint Training Analysis and Simulation Center and the Joint Experimentation Battle Lab.
Cmdr. Linc Smith, a command spokesman, had no immediate comment when asked if the Chinese will be permitted to visit those facilities.
The defense official said the purpose of hosting the visit is to expose the Chinese to the U.S. "military education system."
However, other Pentagon officials said China's Academy of Military Sciences (AMS) is not involved in military education. It is a military strategic doctrine and planning center for advanced war-fighting concepts, including plans for how to forcibly reunite Taiwan with the mainland.
A Pentagon-sponsored study on China's military states that the academy produces classified reports for the Chinese military's strategic planning process.
"Of all the research institutes, AMS is the most secretive and least visited by foreigners," the book, "China Debates the Future Security Environment" by Michael Pillsbury, states.
"It performs analysis for the Central Military Commission and the General Staff Department," it said. Among the known topics of its research are border security, guidance for "strategies and battles under high-technology conditions," and the regularization of the Chinese armed forces.
The academy has no students and no classes, raising suspicions among some officials that the current delegation is on an intelligence- and technology-collection mission.
The academy was modeled on the former Soviet General Staff Academy. It has cooperated with the Commission on Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, China's main foreign weapons technology collector.

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